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Owens Retires

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Dec 2020, 6:45 pm

Nigel Owens: Welsh referee retires from international rugby after taking charge of 100 Tests -

'Nigel Owens, the referee with the most appearances in international matches, has brought an end to his Test career.

The Welshman took charge of his 100th international last month - France's Autumn Nations Cup game against Italy - and has announced that game will be his last.

The 49-year-old's first international was Portugal's meeting with Georgia in 2003.

"Nobody has a divine right to go on forever," Owens said.

"There comes a time where it's time to move on, so international refereeing will come to an end now. That France v Italy game was my last Test match. To go out on 100 is a good time to go."

The 100th international landmark was only the latest achievement in Owens' long and illustrious career.

He refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup final as well as several European club finals, and has become a household name thanks to his rapport with players on the field and his media appearances.

He is respected across rugby union as one of the world's finest referees.

Although his long spell in the international game is over, Owens says he hopes to continue refereeing in the Pro14 as well as locally in Wales this season and possibly in the 2021-22 campaign.

Nigel Owens surpassed Jonathan Kaplan as international rugby's most-capped referee when he took charge of his 71st Test, between Fiji and Tonga, in 2016.
Nigel Owens surpassed Jonathan Kaplan as the referee with the most international appearances when he took charge of his 71st Test, between Fiji and Tonga, in 2016
"I will certainly continue to referee in the community game because when you are very fortunate to get so much out of something, I think it's hugely important that you give something back to it as well," he said.

"I'll also be going into a coaching role with the WRU [Welsh Rugby Union], helping some of our talented, young referees we have here in Wales, so that is something I'm quite excited about.

"We currently have five referees including myself refereeing at Pro 14 level so it will be exciting to help them make further progress, as well as our other upcoming male and female referees."

WRU chairman Rob Butcher has described Owens as a role model "not only for his refereeing but his communication and the way he conducts all aspects of his life".

"It's a truly fantastic achievement for a referee to get to 100 caps," Butcher said.

"Moreover, Nigel has always been and still is a fantastic ambassador for Welsh rugby throughout the world."

Can't say I ever considered him the best in the world as alot of people did but clearly in the top tier for the vast majority of his career. To get to 100 caps is quite something. Without officials we wouldnt have a game even though shock horror as humans they mess up like the rest of us. The fact he was openly gay was a boost to many I'm sure. He will be missed, even if it's just for the Mickey takes out of players.

No 7&1/2

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 11 Dec 2020, 9:34 pm

Nigel as been the best for so long. and will be surly missed at not just the big games. international finals etc. But all games. Have a nice retirement Nigel.


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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 11 Dec 2020, 11:15 pm

That’s a shame, he had more to offer at international level. Now the list of ‘elite’ ref’s doesn’t look so elite. Wayne Barnes is now the best for me, and I do believe that Angus Gardener is going to be one of the best soon. None of the French or Irish refs can be considered elite.


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Post by doctor_grey Wed 16 Dec 2020, 4:59 pm

Sorry to see Nigel going. Was certainly one of the best and one of the few who showed he truly enjoyed what he was doing. That's extremely rare. I saw an interview in which he indicated he will referee club matches in Wales. So after a long and excellent career, he continues to give back. Role model, if we think about it.


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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 17 Dec 2020, 8:43 am

Always enjoyed watching a game with Nigel in charge. He had the respect of all the players and when any tried to question him, his put downs were of a superb quality. I like the fact he may be coaching up and coming referees.

My favourite Nigel moment? When Robshaw continued to protest after England were pinged for something, and Nigel simply raised a finger and said "Errr - Christopher!" Brilliant - certainly put Robshaw back in his box!! Laugh

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 17 Dec 2020, 12:47 pm

That was funny. My fav was when he gave the ball boy the yellow card. Funny and a little heartwarming at the same time.


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