Refs and Scrums Posted almost 12 years ago

Refs need to listen to props more. When Italy gave New Zealand problems a few years ago, the head of refs said the problem with the scrum that day was my binding. I immediately became the most penalised prop at that year’s Six Nations. Mr O’Brien was wrong. Refs need to be careful.

Most of them don’t have a clue. Even I don’t always understand why something has happened. But the refs should talk to old props and hookers more. They need more consistency. Teams who do not scrum so well always find ways to cheat. The refs need to see this more, although I think the current “touch, pause, engage” gives them more time to work out what is going on.

But it is difficult for us to adapt to different ways of reffing each week. The best scrum refs are the French. It is part of their culture. In France the scrummage can be more important than the game. Maybe if the top refs spend a season in France they would have more idea.

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Born in Argentina of Italian lineage, Martin Castrogiovanni has won 105 caps for the Azzurri since debuting against the All Blacks in 2002. A tight head prop known for his immense power and great scrummaging technique, Castro has represented Italy in 3 Rugby World Cups. He made an immediate impact on joining the Leicester Tigers in 2006 winning the Guinness Premiership player of the year in his debut season. He has acquired a cult following at Welford Road and in addition to being one of the best props in world rugby; Castro is one of the games great characters.

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