Nigel Owens damning verdict in on 'crazy' decision from the RFU, he can't understand it - Ruck

Nigel Owens damning verdict in on ‘crazy’ decision from the RFU, he can’t understand it

Nigel Owens has supported referee Karl Dickson but acknowledged the decision to assign him to officiate a team he represented for eight years as player as “crazy.”

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He wrote in his column for the Wales Online: “Rugby, as a sport, prides itself on respect – and at the centre of that should be respect for referees and match officials.”

Owens added: “We cannot be in a position where we have free-for-alls with fans, coaches, players and pundits attacking referees’ performances after matches. That is simply not good for anyone and it damages our sport, as well as contributing to the difficulty in recruiting match officials.

“Of course, that is not to say that referees can’t be criticised. We can’t shy away from being accountable for our decisions, right or wrong. When an official has an off day, there needs to be accountability and transparency around it, but these things need to be gone about in the proper way.

“Fans need to remember that just as there are players and teams that are better than others, there are referees who are of a higher standard than others and that can change over time. Just like players have off days, so can referees.”

He continued: “We saw plenty of comments like those in the wake of Harlequins’ win over Northampton Saints last weekend, when referee Karl Dickson opted against showing a second yellow card to his former team-mate Danny Care for an incident that many felt was worthy of one.

“Now, whatever you made of the decision, to claim that Dickson is biased is ridiculous. He is a quality referee who is simply looking to do his job to the best of his ability. Referees do not walk out on the pitch with an agenda, they are simply there to oversee play and enforce the laws of the game as they see fit.

“What I will say, however, is that it was crazy to put Dickson in charge of that game, or any Harlequins match for that matter. He was a player with Quins for eight years, after all.”

Nigel Owens ranks the best captains he has refereed, Richie McCaw third

The popular referee selected his picks for Wales Online, but set out at the start that he wouldn’t be picking any Welshman in his selection.

“I am not going to include any Welsh players on my list because I haven’t refereed them in international matches.

“Anyway, these are my top Test skippers ranked, Welshmen aside.”


#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”

#4. Jean de Villiers (South Africa)

He is a retired South African rugby union player who made a lasting impact on the international stage.

As a versatile back, he showcased his skills and leadership abilities as the captain of the Springboks from 2012 to 2015.

De Villiers’ playing career spanned over a decade, during which he exhibited exceptional athleticism and a powerful presence on the field.

He was widely respected for his tactical knowledge, unwavering commitment, and ability to inspire his teammates.

De Villiers remains an influential figure in the rugby world and continues to contribute to the sport through coaching and commentary.

Owens said: “He was not only a great rugby player but also a great leader and a great man. Whenever I came across him on the field, he impressed me.”