Nigel wants to see World Rugby’s idea of an ‘orange card’ trialled — but warned it should not become an ‘opt-out’ for indecisive referees. Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
Nigel wants to see World Rugby’s idea of an ‘orange card’ trialled — but warned it should not become an ‘opt-out’ for indecisive referees. Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

I'll back an orange card trial, says Nigel Owens

By Will Kelleher Time of article published May 30, 2020

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Nigel wants to see World Rugby’s idea of an ‘orange card’ trialled — but warned it should not become an ‘opt-out’ for indecisive referees.

The governing body floated the concept of an ‘orange card’ as an extra deterrent for high tackles this week. It would be used as a half-way house between a red or yellow card, and if shown to a player they would be sent off for 15 minutes — as opposed to the usual 10 for a sin-bin.

The tackle would be reviewed by Hawk-Eye technology and the television match official. If the tackle warranted a red card the player would stay off for the remainder of the game. If not the player would still be sin-binned for 15 minutes. Top referee Owens (above) told Sportsmail: ‘I think it’s worth trialling and seeing how it works.

An orange card has its place where it is such a tight 50-50 decision, but it is important we don’t opt out of giving a red card and use an orange as a safety net. If it’s a nailed-on red card, in the first or last minute, you need to still give a red card.

‘When I am refereeing a game I want to make those decisions myself. I wouldn’t want to send someone off on an orange and for someone else to upgrade it to a red. The decision has to come back to you as the referee.

‘It is not that I do not trust anyone else, it is more that I am the referee on the day and I don’t want to pass the buck.

‘A good thing would be that it would act as a deterrent for high tackles, so it certainly does have its positives.’

Daily Mail

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