"England" - The 5 biggest Six Nations rivalries ever have been ranked - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“England” – The 5 biggest Six Nations rivalries ever have been ranked

Fly-half: Dan Carter (New Zealand), replaced by Dan Biggar (Wales)

Owens said: “He’s so focused and so passionate about what he’s doing, we’ve had a few run ins on the pitch down the years. 

“I mean, it’s always been in a respectful way as we always have a drink and a laugh after the game.”

Scrum-half: Agustin Pichot (Argentina), replaced by Dwayne Peel (Wales)

Owens said: “I used to love watching Dwayne Peel in his prime as a scrum-half for those few years between 2004-06 with Wales, the Lions and Llanelli. Talented, a great guy, he also has a house just up the road from me!”

Loosehead-prop: Gethin Jenkins (Wales)

Owens said: “He rarely smiles but has been a terrific player at loose-head prop. When I’ve penalised him and he’s smiled, I know I’d got the decision right!

“But, suffice to say, he hasn’t smiled often when I’ve refereed him. Another who has stood the test of time, which speaks volumes about his ability and character.”

Hooker: John Smit (South Africa), replaced by Rory Best (Ireland)

Rory Best of Ireland during the Summer International match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on the 24th August 2019. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK.

Tighthead-prop: Phil Vickery (England)

Owens said: “I always had a lot of time for him, found him a decent man, a good player to referee. He wasn’t one of those who would whinge at decisions, he would accept the call and get on with it.

“As a player, at his peak with Wasps during their European runs and with England in 2007, he was a formidable force.

“Just about edges out Carl Hayman, another great player and a pretty honest one as well. When he got it wrong and I penalised him, he would accept it.”