‘Leave Owen Farrell alone!’ Nigel Owens’ staunch defence of England captain

‘Leave Owen Farrell alone!’ Nigel Owens’ staunch defence of England captain

Nigel Owens has leapt to the defence of England captain Owen Farrell following their defeat to Wales on the weekend.

Farrell has come in for criticism after the 40-24 defeat in Cardiff, with both his dealings with referee Pascal Gauzere and his post-match interviews coming under fire from certain quarters.

The England captain was clearly livid with Gauzere after the Frenchman allowed Dan Biggar to take a penalty quickly to set up Josh Adams try, while the England team were still largely stood in a huddle.

That was one of the main flashpoints in a match where both Farrell and England struggled to stay on Gauzere’s good side.

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But Owens, in his column for the Daily Mail, says people need to lay off the Saracens playmaker, who he described as an “excellent captain” and he’d only had good experiences of dealing with him.

“People need to stop having a go at Owen Farrell,” wrote Owens.

“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.”

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