Nigel Owens has come out support of England captain Owen Farrell, insisting people ‘need to stop having a go’ at the fly-half.
“People need to stop having a go at Owen Farrell,” wrote the popular whistle blower in his column for the Mail Online.
“I can only speak from my own experience of refereeing him and, when I did, he was an excellent captain to deal with. I have a huge amount of respect for him as a player and a person.
“He always knew where the line was with me. I would say to him that he could always come and talk to me as long as it was at the right time and in the right tone and he always did that.
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“There are a lot of other captains who are in the referee’s ear. It is the captain’s job to challenge the referee if he feels his side is getting hard done by, if he feels they are being punished at the offside line but the opposition aren’t. What is important is that it is done in the right manner.
“Owen always did that with me. I have seen other games where he has been in the referee’s ear at the wrong times and that he may need to address. That is also down to the referee to deal with it and stop it happening.”
NIGEL OWENS RANKS THE THREE HARDEST ENGLISH PLAYERS TO REFEREE:
3. Maro Itoje
NIGEL OWENS SAID: “The second-row is someone who plays right on the edge. That is what makes him such a great player. He must be so difficult to play against but he’s also difficult to referee and I mean that with the utmost respect.”
” 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.