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."
WRU TV were on hand at the launch of a major new commercial deal with WRU and Mercedes-Benz South Wales (part of the Sinclair Group), which sees the family company become an official supplier to the Welsh Rugby Union
On the back of the recent Women's Rugby World Cup, the WRU has launched a revitalised Women's and Girls domestic seasonal structure, and the future is looking bright.
Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
Roger Lewis talks to WRU TV at the announcement of a new £60 million Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) which provides a new and positive contractual relationship between the WRU and its four Regions for the next six years has been agreed.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.