If you do an internet search for ‘rugby referee’, you will see a picture of Nigel Owens appearing as the first result. The man is to the sport what Pierluigi Collina was to football.
The 45-year-old is widely regarded as rugby’s finest ever referee, not only for his almost flawless application of the sometimes complex rules of the game, but also his unique relationship with players during games.
In recent days, former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald came out criticising Owens for his vocal style of refereeing, a sentiment that he appears to be alone in feeling.
In response to the Irishman’s comments, the rugby world has leapt to the defence of the much loved and respected referee and endorsed his most excellent refereeing style.
I was disappointed to read Fitzgeralds comments unfair and ill judged, keep doing what you do but in English pls ha ha
— Steve 🏉🍻🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@SteveIWRFC) April 13, 2017
@Nigelrefowens – best rugby ref ever!
— Keryn Vella (@Kezv88) April 13, 2017
— James Fitzgerald (@JamesFitz501) April 12, 2017
I must admit I see nothing wrong with the way @Nigelrefowens speaks to players – in fact I applaud it.. Don't go changing, Nigel!
— Paul Morgan (@PaulMorganrugby) April 11, 2017
Have a good one..don't take any lip
— MW (@MKerryWhite) April 13, 2017
Almost 30 years after he took charge of his first game as a 16-year-old, Owens has gone on to referee 109 European club matches, including five Champions/Heineken Cup finals and two Challenge Cup finals.
On top of this, he has refereed 76 international test matches and been involved in 17 Six Nations, 12 Rugby Championships and three World Cups.
On Saturday, he will take charge of his 150th Pro 12 match and ahead of the match between Newport-Gwent Dragons and Scarlets, Owens has spoken, in his usual humble manner, of just what it means to reach the milestone.
— PRO14 RUGBY (at 🏡) (@PRO14Official) April 13, 2017
A true legend of the game.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]