Rugby fans divided on criticism of Nigel Owens from Luke Fitzgerald

There is a disagreement being played out between former Leinster and Ireland back Luke Fitzgerald and Nigel Owens, and it seems like a lot of the sympathy is with the Welsh referee.

Owens is well known for his relaxed manner and on-field quips while officiating at games but Fitzgerald has suggested he sometimes goes too far.

Speaking after Owens refereed the game between Munster and Glasgow on Saturday night, Fitzgerald said: "He shouldn't be commentating on the game.”

Owens had described a move by Billy Holland as a “poor play” after advantage had been called over and Fitzgerald referenced this and other incidents while speaking on the The Left Wing Rugby Show.

"The first job of the referee is to almost be anonymous and that's the first duty for him.”

Fitzgerald also made clear he rated Owens as a referee, adding: "He is taken seriously, he's a brilliant referee, no doubt about that.”

Despite that, Owens felt the need to respond to the criticism on Twitter, saying: ”The game is about the players not the ref. I didn't say a witty thing or a put down.

“I just explained why advantage was over.”

It has become a hot topic on Twitter, with many coming out in support of Owens.

But there are also those who are in agreement with Fitzgerald.

What do you think?

KEYWORDS: sport, rugby.


By Grainne McGuinness

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