A comment made by Wales star Liam Williams after he was sent off in Scarlets derby match with Cardiff Blues has not played well with fans online, with the fullback coming in for some hefty criticism.

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Williams propelled himself headlong into a ruck in the 37th minute and clashed heads with Cardiff Blues flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes, and after several TMO replays, referee Craig Evans sent him off.

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Josh Beaumont talks to RugbyPass:

However the ref mic picked up the British and Irish Lion saying to the referee: “Going to start playing touch is it?” before he turned and walked off.

It was clipped up by a fan and the cheeky back chat didn’t play well with most, some describing it as ‘petulant’.

“Last time I checked touch rugby didn’t involve contact with the head of a player with no sight of the oncoming hit. I’m sure there will be people once again saying “game’s gone soft” but it was a red and hope Liam Williams’ comments to the ref are punished separately.”

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Simon Thomas tweeted: “Not a great a comment there from Liam Willaims” and “Once referee Craig Evans went through the framework there, he had no real option but to red card Liam Williams. Reckless entry to the ruck and connected directly with the head of SLH. Ticked the boxes.”

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Interestingly a very similar comment by Springbok Duane Vermeulen a few weeks back was lauded by South African fans. Both Vermeulen and fellow Springbok Lukhanyo Am were called forward by the referee after two yellow cards had been handed out for dangerous tackles in a match between the Sharks and the Bulls.

An agitated Vermeulen turned to Am and said: “Maybe we should play touchies [touch rugby]?” The referee at least saw the funny side of the great Bok’s remark. That comment was delivered with a smile on his face and directed at Am, rather than the referee.

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