“He’s an angry person” – England wheelchair star wasn’t surprised by what happened to French official in final

After the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final, alongside focus on a fantastic contest between the two top teams, a lot of focus lay on the French official who somewhat stole the show.

Laurent Abrial has since been suspended by the French Federation whilst the IRL began an investigation into him after his performance in the final which saw him avidly disagree with a number of decisions and gesticulate his unhappiness.

Seb Bechara, a star of the England team, knows Abrial well after playing in France for a long stretch of his career.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live’s Rugby League World Cup Podcast, the England star admitted Abrial gets angry easily: “I do know him, he referees in the French Championship, I’ve known him for years. He is a bit of a grumpy, angry person.

“He often gets angry during games, especially when people disagree with him.

“He got out of the hand in the final. Honestly, it was ridiculous at the stage it was and not very good for the sport to see something like that.”

He felt the pressure and the atmosphere got to him: “The pressure is high during those games, not just for us but for the officials as well and I think the pressure got to him.

“I think he didn’t like people booing him.”

Ultimately, he was mostly proud of his teammates for the way they got over the controversy to go on to win: “Before the game we spoke about being a band of brothers and getting rid of negative emotions and fighting through it.

“It was annoying but we just dealt with it and just kept playing our game and stayed calm and we got away with the win, it was a great performance.”

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