"Exeter Chiefs star" - LGBTQ+ Pride Month: Celebrating the Out and Proud Rugby Community - Ruck

“Exeter Chiefs star” – LGBTQ+ Pride Month: Celebrating the Out and Proud Rugby Community

The LGBTQ+ Pride Flag is flying high for Pride Month, as rugby celebrates those who are out and proud within the sport.

Rugby is a sport for all, and with the 1st of June marking the start of Pride Month, lets celebrate rugby’s stars of the LGBTQ+ community.

Nigel Owens

“This is not soccer!” Considered by many rugby fans as the greatest referee that the game has ever seen, Nigel Owens has had a decorated career on the whistle.

His iconic no-nonsense approach coupled with an unmistakable Welsh accent, has made for many legendary interactions with the rugby’s biggest names.

Soon after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Owens was named as the ‘Gay Sports Personality of the Year’ winner, by LGBTQ+ right’s group Stonewall.


An icon of rugby officiating, Owens refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final, and later became the most capped official in test match rugby history.

This marked his 71st test match as referee, when Fiji took on Tonga during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualification stages. He also became the first official to referee 100 test matches, during the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup fixture, as France faced Italy.

Owens hung up the whistle two weeks later, but continues to offer analysis through his entertaining ‘Whistle Watch’ YouTube Channel.

Referee, Nigel Owens during the Heineken Champions Cup Final Match between Exeter Chiefs and Racing 92 at Ashton Gate, Bristol on the 17 Oct. PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK