Clive Norling, Wales's director of refereeing, has issued a warning following the attack on Ireland's David McHugh during last Saturday's Tri-Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand in Durban.
"It is time some people realised, that without the referee, there is no game of rugby," Mr Norling said.
"Sadly, last season we had two incidents in our Welsh/Scottish League where referees were physically threatened.
"My major concern is the effect that an incident like we saw in South Africa could have on the recruitment and retention of referees.
"Hugh Banfield, the secretary of the Welsh Society of Referees, and myself have been banging the drum for the last 18 months because we feared something might happen because of of the global abuse of referees."
GB7s women left their England base to train in Wales this week. Olympic Games hopeful Rachael Burford gives WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie her thoughts on Welsh teammate Jasmine Joyce - a 'one touch wonder'
The GB7s women's squad is currently training at Wales' Centre of Excellence where assistant coach Richie Pugh tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie some 'tough calls' will have to be made when it comes to finalising the 12 spots for Rio's Olympic Games.
Wales U20's Billy McBryde is looking forward to starting his first game against New Zealand this afternoon in the World Rugby U20 Championship where his side are looking to gain revenge from last week's pool defeat to the Kiwis.