Romain Poite has been a staple of World Rugby’s referee roster since the 2007 Rugby World Cup and, as he enters the final stages of his illustrious career, it’s time to reflect on what makes the Frenchman such an iconic figure.
Known for his openness and straight-talking on the field as much as his good humour off it, Poite has developed into one of the most recognisable officials in the game.
He’s not immune to wrong calls and he regularly talks about how easy it is for refs to make mistakes on the pitch. He’s also a highly funny person, particularly when attempting to communicate clearly to players the laws of the game.
YouTuber Andrew Forde has compiled what every rugby fan has been waiting for: The definitive Romain Poite being Romain Poite collection.
A former policeman, it’s maybe no surprise that Poite is as authoritative on the field as his previous profession, but in an interview with RugbyPass, Poite said it wasn’t all about being the hard-nosed law enforcer.
Poite’s most famous interactions on the field are an eclectic mix of his on and off-field personality. Who can forget his bizarre conversation with England flanker James Haskell about the laws of the game when Italy decided to employ a ‘tackle-only’ tactic in the 6 Nations?
But then there were incidents like Sylvère Tian getting sent off for Oyonnax after insulting Poite, who replied “you’re pissing me off” before brandishing the red card. Poite is nothing if not resolute.
There’s plenty more in this video to enjoy, so sit back, relax and get your five-minute Romain Poite fix!