RUCK profiles three of the toughest head coaches Nigel Owens came across during his legendary coaching career.
Discussing the pressure referees have been put under during the Lions tour, Owens said: “As referees we are human, we make mistakes just like players and coaches do.
“That’s inevitable in a fast moving game like rugby when so much is going on – at the breakdown, scrum, lineout and in general play.
“The key is accepting you make those errors, learning from them and trying to do things differently next time.
“Just like in any other career.”
TOUGHEST COACHES TO DEAL WITH:
#3. Michael Cheika (Australia)
The then Australia boss first blasted Owens following the 2015 World Cup final before a year later taking aim following his side’s whitewash series defeat to England in 2016.
He then was on the Welshman’s back a year later following their 35-29 Rugby Championship loss to the All Blacks.
Owens said following the 2015 World Cup final: “If you can’t deal with criticism as a referee you can’t do this job. So there is something inside you that helps you deal with that.Embed from Getty Images
“It does not make it any nicer for me to hear criticism, especially if it is personal, than anybody else.
“There is something in your make-up that allows you to get to the top of international refereeing. Cheika likes to talk a lot when his side doesn’t win.
“However, it was always diplomatic enough between the pair of us, it was done behind closed doors, whether verbally or via email, and never played out in the public domain.
“That last bit is important.”