With Scotland attacking the Italian line and looking like they could score, a huge shot hit Italy defender Ignacio Brex with Luke Pearce stopping play quickly with a potential head injury down the middle.
He sent Brex off the field for a head injury assessment, telling the player “I’ve got you covered!” amid protests from the 29-year-old from Benetton.
Head injuries are a big talking point in rugby at the moment with Friday’s Wales v France match featuring an injury to Tomos Williams, two weeks after criticism for team-mate Tomas Francis allowed to continue from injury similar against England.
However, on this occasion the referee was praised, with the Scottish Rugby Podcast tweeting that: ‘They should show footage of this Luke Pearce intervention at the referees school’
Another Twitter user, Owain Thorngate, expressed his views saying: Luke Pearce highlighted why he is one of the best referees in the world with this call. The welfare of the players is so important, it’s a great place.”
ITV pundit Jim Hamilton also praised the Englishman, saying any intervention is ‘more important than a game of rugby’.
The 34-year-old is a popular referee and was chosen to officiate at the 2019 World Cup in Japan as well as refereeing matches at the highest level for several years, with big things expected.
He was just 24 when he first officiated a European match and on that evidence the players are in safe hands with Pearce at the helm going forward.