Nigel Owens MBE is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He is an international and European Rugby Champions Cup referee and was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France and at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He was referee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup final in England.
Nigel was appointed as an international referee in 2005, and that year officiated at his first tier 1 international between Ireland and Japan in Osaka. Owens made his World Cup debut on 11 September 2007 in the match between Argentina and Georgia in Lyon, France. He is one of only two referees to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals: Munster v Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium in 2008; and Leicester Tigers v Leinster at Murrayfield in 2009. He has since done a third and fourth final Leinster v Ulster at Twickenham 2012, and Toulon v Clermont in Twickenham in 2015 this as well as two European Challenge Cup finals makes a total of a record six European finals, making him the most capped referee in European competition. In June 2016 he became the most experienced international referee after taking charge of a Fiji v Tonga Rugby World Cup qualifying game.
He is also known as a TV personality, as one of the presenters of the S4C chats shows Jonathan and Bwrw’r Bar. Owens also hosts his own quiz programme Munud i Fynd.
Nigel is a fluent Welsh speaker and has worked as a school technician, a youth worker and worked on a farm for over a year as a farmhand. His autobiography, Hanner Amser (Half Time), was published in Welsh in 2008, then in English in 2009. He was a patron of the LGBT Centre of Excellence Wales, until its disbandment in late 2012. In 2013 Owens became a patron of Bullies Out charity in Wales. He served at various times as secretary, chairman and president of the Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. Nigel is a fan of Wrexham Football Club.