Luke Pearce names the worst rugby player he's refereed, it isn't a shock - Page 3 of 5 - Ruck

Luke Pearce names the worst rugby player he’s refereed, it isn’t a shock

Nigel Owens – Austin Healey, Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara, Dan Biggar, Maro Itoje

On Healey: “Definitely Austin Healey. I only caught him towards the end of his career, thankfully. A wonderfully talented player and a very good pundit now, but he always had plenty say and quickly assumed I didn’t like him. He’s actually blocked me on Twitter, but I don’t think I’m the only one.”

Former England and Lions rugby star, Austin Healey takes his position behind the camera as a TV pundit. – Photo mandatory by-line: Dan Mullan/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 – 02/01/2011 – SPORT – RUGBY Aviva Premiership – Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers, Sandy Park, Exeter, Devon.

On O’Gara and Stringer: “Definitely! ROG and (Peter) Stringer, oh, when you had to referee the two of them together. I always got on well with the both of them though. I have a huge amount of respect for them, but they made my days hard on occasions. They were lippy in a respectful way.”

On Biggar: “Oh god yes. He’s so focused and so passionate about what he’s doing, we’ve had a few run ins on the pitch down the years. I mean, it’s always been in a respectful way as we always have a drink and a laugh after the game.

Dan Biggar of Northampton Saints kicks the penalty to take the lead during the European Champions Cup, Quarter-final match between Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints at Sandy Park on 20 Sept 2020. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK.

On Itoje: “He is someone who plays right on the edge. That is what makes him such a great player. Itoje must be so difficult to play against but he’s also difficult to referee and I mean that with the utmost respect. He plays with passion and on the line. It is difficult to tell Itoje not to bring the same confrontation and aggression to the game that he usually does. It would take away from his game. You don’t want him to change the way he plays but he needs to pick and choose when he gambles on the situation and when he doesn’t. And understand better those moments when you are under pressure and knowing when, if you take a risk and get it wrong, you will land your team in real trouble.”

Final whistle celebrations for Maro Itoje of England Rugby after the Six Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 26th 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK