England winger could quit for Wales after only winning two caps - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

England winger could quit for Wales after only winning two caps

#3. Croke Park, Dublin

Owens wrote: “I refereed Leinster v Munster here in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2009. It was like an international day, there was a sea of blue and red descending on the stadium. The attendance of over 82,000 set a record at the time and the atmosphere was remarkable.

“That game was a bit of a turning point for Irish rugby because Munster were favourites that day and Leinster turned them over. Johnny Sexton came of age, Brian O’Driscoll was in his pomp and they ran Munster ragged that day. It was a brilliant game of rugby.

“I remember Derek Bevan telling me he’d never been involved in a game like it at club level because the atmosphere was electric. You knew you were part of something special.”

The view from Roinn B2, on the Hill Terrace, for the 2004 All-Ireland Football Final.

#2. Twickenham Stadium, London

For what England’s HQ lacks in atmosphere, it certainly makes up for it in occasion.

At 82,000 it is the biggest rugby stadium in the Northern Hemisphere, having witnessed a record 13 Six Nations Grand Slams for their home side.

Owens wrote: “It will always be a special place for me because it’s where I took charge of the World Cup final and my first ever Six Nations match, but there is more to this selection than just that.

“Surprisingly, for a match where the host nation wasn’t involved, with a lot of neutral supporters in the ground, the atmosphere was special.”

“I say neutral supporters but it felt like most people in the ground had chosen a team to support, there can’t have been many who weren’t rooting for one team or the other and that added to the occasion. I remember some of the crowd outside wishing me good luck as we walked into the stadium, which was a nice touch..

“I’ve always enjoyed refereeing at Twickenham. I’ve taken charge of England games many times and I always got a great welcome there. It’s a lovely stadium and it’s always full.

“Sometimes it’s not as passionate as you might see elsewhere. Similar to my earlier comment about Munster v Leinster at Thomond Park, Wales v England at Twickenham and at the Principality Stadium are very different occasions. If Wales scored a great try at Twickenham, the majority of home fans would probably politely acknowledge it, I can assure you the reaction would be very different in Cardiff if roles were reversed!”

But Twickenham is still a fantastic venue, even though it’s not always a hit with Welsh supporters.