It’s not just their roles on the pitch that define match officials. Some of these officials have careers away from rugby, including doctors and solicitors, showcasing the diverse talents and backgrounds that come together to ensure the smooth and fair conduct of the game we all love.
As we delve deeper into their day jobs, we gain a fuller appreciation of the multifaceted individuals entrusted with the responsibility of upholding the spirit of rugby in the global arena.
#1. Nigel Owens
The popular Welshman had an interest in farming since he was a young kid and it has always played a huge part in his life away from the rugby field.
Over the years, Owens has been able to save up to buy his own farm with his partner Barrie and so far they’ve built up 26 pedigree Hereford cattle.
Nigel Owens facts:
Owens was born and raised in the village of Mynyddcerrig, near Cross Hands in Carmarthenshire
In May 2007, Owens publicly came out as gay in an interview with Wales on Sunday
His long-term partner is Barrie Jones-Davies, a primary school teacher from Llandovery
Owens started refereeing in 1987, after his sports teacher John Beynon suggested he take up refereeing after a school game
His first game was an under-15s match between Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire at the age of 16
Nigel Owens toughest player to referee: Austin Healey
OWENS SAID: “Definitely. I only caught him towards the end of his career, thankfully. A wonderfully talented player and a very good pundit now, but he always had plenty say and quickly assumed I didn’t like him. He’s actually blocked me on Twitter, but I don’t think I’m the only one.”