Luke Fitzgerald: Nigel Owens "shouldn't be commentating" on games

The Welsh referee is known for his witty one-liners to players during matches

BY Daniel Kelly 11:20 Tuesday 11 April 2017, 11:20 11 Apr 2017

Luke Fitzgerald and Nigel Owens. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO

Nigel Owens remains one of the biggest names in the world of rugby.

The Welsh referee is one of the game's best known and most accessible names, regularly conversing with fans on social media, whether they agree with him or not.

One person who has not agreed with Owens in recent days was Luke Fitzgerald. The former Leinster, Ireland and Lions winger said the referee crossed the line when speaking to Munster's captain Billy Holland last weekend in the PRO12 game against Glasgow.

Midway through the second-half, Munster had an advantage in an attacking position, but wasted the opportunity with a missed pass from Jaco Taute.

Holland went up to Owens to clarify if the advantage was over, and the referee replied stating; "Advantage is over there, lads. It's poor play by you there on the pass. Under no pressure there."

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Fitzgerald said he is not a fan of Owens' relationship with players on the field.

"He shouldn't be commentating on the game. His first focus is to make sure it's a good spectacle, that he referees the game correctly."

After finding out about Fitzgerald's comments, Owens responded 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. Nothing more."

Fitzgerald is one of rugby's more high-profile names to question Owen's easy rapport with players. It will be fascinating to see if the Welsh referee continues in the same style, in the coming weeks.

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