"It has to stop" - Nigel Owens demands change to referees on-field behaviour - Ruck

“It has to stop” – Nigel Owens demands change to referees on-field behaviour

Popular former referee Nigel Owens has taken a shot at modern day referees for being far ‘too chummy’ with players and believes it must stop.

Looking ahead to the start of the 2022 Six Nations, the Welshman has identified this as the reason for growing dissent from players towards officials.

In only the last few weeks, Ireland international Bundee Aki was warned for confronting a referee while Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu was sent off for swearing at Wayne Barnes in Paris.

He wrote in his column for The Telegraph: “An area that needs to be addressed, and it is not a major issue yet but has been creeping in over recent months, is the amount referees talk to players. 

“There is a time for communication and there needs to be a balance. But the more you talk in a game, the more you open yourself up to have a two-way conversation, and players feel they can talk to you about anything. 

“We are seeing more of referees going ‘don’t do that, mate’, which makes players feel: ‘I am speaking to my mate here, I can say whatever I want’. I would like to see less of that, and it’s why a hint of dissent has come into the game recently.

“Communication is important, but it does not have to be constant. Less is often more. There is no need for a debate on the field.”


Refereeing appointments announced for 2022 Six Nations


Referee, Ben O’Keeffe watches the TMO for a tackle against George North of Wales during the Guinness Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 7 2020. – PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK
Ireland v Wales
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Saturday, 5 February, 2022
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Angus Gardner (RA)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (RFU)
Scotland v England
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday, 5 February, 2022
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
France v Italy
Stade de France, Paris
Sunday, 6 February, 2022
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nika Amashukeli (GRU)
Assistant Referee 2: Damon Murphy (RA)
TMO: Brett Cronan (RA)


Wales v Scotland
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday, 12 February, 2022
Referee: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Brett Cronan (RA)
France v Ireland
Stade de France, Paris
Saturday, 12 February, 2022
Referee: Angus Gardner (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Italy v England
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Sunday, 13 February, 2022
Referee: Damon Murphy (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 2:
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)


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