Nigel Owens Fires Back At Stinging Journalist Attack Following Words With Zebo

Not accurate.

Nigel Owens has fired back after he was called ‘rugby’s superego’ by Times columnist Tommy Conlon following his decision to have a quiet word with Simon Zebo in last week’s Champions Cup pool match between Racing 92 and Ulster.

Owens pulled the former Munster fullback after he scored Racing’s final try for taunting Ulster youngster Michael Lowry as sprinted to the try-line, suggesting he apologise for his actions.

Zebo was quick to realise his mistake, apologising immediately in-game, and also sent a message to Lowry stating he was embarrassed by his actions. Lowry accepted the apology, but Owens has come under fire now, with Conlon launching a stinging attack on the Welshman.

“Then, of course, rugby’s superego arrived on the scene in the shape of match referee Nigel Owens.” Conlon writes

His was the authoritarian voice of the establishment, come to reassert the game’s incorrigible self-importance. He proceeded to talk down to Zebo like a prep-school headmaster pedantically explaining the code of conduct to an innocently errant child. “I don’t think you needed to do that,” scolds Nigel, “I suggest that you apologise.”

“Even by the notoriously didactic standards of rugby refereeing, this was a whole new level of pompous. Since when did the game’s referees decide to become morality police, as well as being mere enforcers of the rules? Maybe Nigel should have told the cheerleaders to dress in something more appropriate, while he was at it?”

He goes on to say we haven’t ‘have yet to hear from Lowry so we don’t even know if he felt personally insulted at all by the gesture’, despite the fact that Lowry came out on social media and accepted Zebo’s apology.

Owens has since got wind of the article and he’s having absolutely none of it.