Nigel Owens gives expert view on rugby's new orange card - Ruck

Nigel Owens gives expert view on rugby’s new orange card

Popular Welsh referee Nigel Owens has given his. thoughts on the orange card, which is set to be trialled by World Rugby.

The card would see players removed from the field for 15 minutes for certain high tackle offences, but would lead to an automatic citing as is the norm with the traditional red cards.

World Rugby claim that high tackles are more likely to risk transmission of the virus,  and hence the orange card being one of the recommendations being pushed by the governing body.

“I think it’s something that’s worth trialling and seeing how it works,” Owens exclusively told the Mail Online.

“An orange card has its place in the game for ones where it is such a tight 50-50 decision, but it is important we didn’t opt-out of giving a red card and use an orange as a safety net.

“If it’s a nailed-on red card, in the first or last minute, you need to still give a red card.


“That would need to be thought through before it was implemented.

“When I am refereeing a game I want to make those decisions myself. I wouldn’t want to send someone off on an orange and for someone else to upgrade it to a red. The decision has to come back to you as the referee.

“It is not that do not trust anyone else, it is more that I am the referee on the day and need to make those decisions and a I don’t want to pass the buck, in a sense.


“We talk about the concept of an “orange” already as referees as you do have those decisions where if you put 100 people in a room 50 would say it was a red and 50 would say yellow.

“Wayne Barnes are I, who are the best of friends, have debates where we disagree on the sanction.

“When it is one that can go either way an orange card could help.”

LIST | 5 of Nigel Owens most BRUTAL comebacks

We’ve collected some of the best comebacks from popular Welsh referee Nigel Owens down the years…

1. “This is not soccer”

First we begin with what is probably Owens’ most famous quote. It has become a world-wide favourite for rugby fans. As everyone knows, scrum-halves are renowned for their complaining and whining, and referees seem to tolerate it.However in 2012, Owens was the whistle-blower in a RaboDirect PRO12 match between Munster and Bennetton Treviso when Treviso scrum-half Tobias Botes began complaining that the Munster captain Paul O’Connell wasn’t releasing at the ruck. Nigel calls him over… and after a long lecture… ends with “This is not soccer”. Class.