Sport Six Nations

Thursday 14 December 2017

'I'm a referee, not your coach' - Roman Poite channels his inner Nigel Owens in exchange with England stars

Jack O'Toole

Referee Roman Poite shared a funny exchange with Dylan Hartley and James Haskell during today's Six Nations clash with Italy after the England skipper and his team-mate enquired about the laws at the breakdown

Conor O'Shea's Italian side employed an unusual tactic of not committing any men to the breakdown, meaning they could flood the area around the tackle to disrupt the England attack.

Read more: 'Well done on ruining this international' - England legend launches Twitter rant over Italy's surprise tactics

Eventually Hartley and Haskell sought clarification from Poite over what was occurring and he gave a pithy response.

The Frenchman promptly reminded Hartley that he was the match referee and not the coach, and that if he wanted a solution to the situation, he'd be better off asking England boss Eddie Jones.

Read more: 'If that’s rugby then I’m going to retire' - Eddie Jones launches stinging attack on Italian tactics

"As I told you, I'm very sorry, but I'm a referee not a coach," Poite could be heard saying on his microphone.

"You will probably find the solution with your coach who has more ability than me to tell you what to do."

Hartley and Haskell looked quite bemused at the exchange but it mattered little as England would subsequently run out 36-15 winners.

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