Referee Nigel Owens is famed for his sharp wit on the field, but he has also been on the receiving end of a quip during his refereeing career, writes Gavin Spillane.
He recalls his first Irish derby in the Celtic League, when a certain Munster prop cut down a then-inexperienced Owens.
“Peter Clohessy was playing and it was my first Irish derby.” Owens recalled. “I was an inexperienced referee and they were taking full advantage of this.
“Shane Byrne was playing for Leinster, Reggie Corrigan was there too. I’m sure a young John Hayes was playing for Munster.
“The first six or seven scrums were going down, and I penalised one or two and they just kept going down.
"Everyone was having their say. The Munster back-row were shouting ‘he’s collapsing it’ and the Leinster back-row were shouting ‘he’s collapsing it’. The hooker was having his say.. .I just blew it up and said there’s about twenty referees on the field at the moment.
“Clohessy turned to me and said yes.. and you’re not one of them.”
I remember looking at him thinking: 'He’s right, I’m not one of them!’”