Nigel Owens Responds To England Fans Calling Him A Cheat After Scotland Game

I am not a cheat.

Nigel Owens has responded to criticism of his handling of Saturday’s Six Nations clash between Scotland and England at Murrayfield.

The Welsh referee has been hugely criticised by England fans online, after they had two tries disallowed in the game (one from Owen Farrell and one from Danny Care, and suffered a sin-bin (Sam Underhill) late on.

Some have even accused him of ‘trying to avenge’ Wales’ Six Nations loss to England in round two of the championship.

Speaking on Brian Moore’s Full Contact podcast on the Daily Telegraph website, Owens says he can accept criticism. But he cannot handle being labelled a “cheat.”

“One thing that really, really gets me going is when people accuse a referee of being a cheat,” said Owens.

“If someone has a go at me on social media because he didn’t like my performance or decisions, and sometimes they are correct, that’s fine.

“I will never block anyone on Twitter for thinking I didn’t referee well. What I do block people for is if they call a referee a cheat or accuse them of bias.

“If somebody says that, they’re gone and blocked.”

Despite being heralded as arguably the best referee in world rugby, Owens says he’s still learning.

“You still continue to learn and strive to be better for the good of the game. Unless you’re going to be honest and open as a referee, player, pundit, whatever you do you’ll never maintain or improve that standard.

“I was asked if I enjoyed the game on Saturday.

“But when your refereeing you’re concentrating and focused, that is the key thing because you have to be in that zone. You don’t really appreciate if it’s a great game or a poor game.

Sometimes you know it’s a fast game because the lungs are burning.”