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Friday 22 September 2017

Drico calls for Owens or Barnes to ref semi

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has sent out a call to parent company Celtic League to appoint an outside referee for the Magners League semi-final against Munster on Saturday.

"The standard of refereeing in the Magners League really needs to improve. The level of inconsistency is frustrating the players," he said.

"As a result, you are getting a bad standard occasionally. For the league to move on, that really has to be upped. Out there today (against Edinburgh), there were a lot of frustrated heads not really understanding the interpretations.

"I would like to think for a game of the magnitude of Munster and Leinster next week, you would get the best referee, whether it be a Nigel Owens or Wayne Barnes.

"They are international pedigree and their level of consistency is clear. Their explanations are there in the dressing-room beforehand and they stick by them.

"Whereas, on occasion, referees say one thing in a dressing-room and referee differently out on the pitch.

"That is when you see guys losing the head and making throw away remarks because of the frustration. I have been as guilty of that as anyone.

"I've seen a lot of referees in my career. Some have got better as the years have gone on. Some haven't. You've got to go with the best referees for the biggest games."

"It is not Heineken Cup rugby, but it is the next best thing, a Magners League semi-final. We look forward to welcoming them (Munster) to the RDS."

Jonathan Sexton and Shane Jennings could come back into contention for a game Cian Healy understatedly previewed as "always a pleasure".

Always a pleasure? You must be joking.

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