Welsh referee Nigel Owens officially becomes a record-breaker when he takes charge of the Fiji versus Tonga
The match will be Owens’ 71st as an international referee, eclipsing the previous record of 70
Owens made his Test debut in 2003 when Portugal beat Georgia 34-30 in Lisbon
On what will already be a landmark day for Welsh sport, Nigel Owens creates his own bit of history by eclipsing figure set by South African refereeing legend Jonathan Kaplan when he takes charge of his 71st Test match.
As he prepares to make history, Owens revealed: “I don’t think anyone goes into refereeing in order to break records like this, but I suppose what it says is that I’ve managed to stay at the top level of the game for a while.
“So there is a lot of satisfaction and pride that comes with that. Every time I take the field as a referee it is an honour, even more so when it’s a Test match.
“Refereeing the Rugby World Cup final was a wonderful experience and one that I will treasure, but every match is memorable in its own way and I am really looking forward to this next challenge in Fiji, where I have never refereed before.
“I have been fortunate to have so many people supporting me the way – including past and present referees as well as the WRU and World Rugby.
“It has been a hugely rewarding and enjoyable journey so far and I hope to keep going for some time to come.”