Popular referee Nigel Owens has claimed that the captain’s challenge and new red card law are “spoiling the game”.
“We’re getting to the stage where sometimes on a weekend there is more time spent with referee in conversation with the TMO upstairs than there is actually ball in play time,” Owens wrote.
“That’s not a good look for a sport where fast pace, drama and moving on to the next phase in play are part of the huge appeal.
“We had a situation the other day where the second half of the Cardiff Blues versus Zebre game lasted 67 minutes. Yes, that’s fully 27 minutes more than should have been the case and from what I can see no-one was happy.
“This kind of thing is spoiling the game; everyone accepts a match can drag on a little when the clock goes red, but almost half an hour extra for a half of rugby?
“People simply aren’t going to go to the stadium if they know games are going to be dragging on and on like this.”
He added: “A red card should mean a red card. We’ve tried the orange card, when a player is sent off but can be replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes, but it doesn’t work for me so let’s bin that one too,”
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Nigel Owens Ranks The Five Worst Players He Refereed
#1. Austin Healey
Owens said: “Definitely 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.”