Nigel Owens was one of the first three Welsh Rugby Union professional referees and has officiated some the most high-profile and high-pressure tournaments including the 2015 World Cup Final.
In a courageous move, one of the better known Nigel Owens facts is that he came out as gay in 2007, one of the first sports professionals to do so.
However, despite being one of the best known figures in rugby union, here RUCK reveal a number of Nigel Owens facts that you might not know about.
Nigel Owens facts:
1. How he started refereeing
Playing rugby at school, his team hadn’t won a game all year, and needed to kick a conversion for victory. It was Nigel’s moment of glory. But it didn’t go to plan. The ball “went closer to the corner flag than it did to the uprights. I was a laughing stock in the school.” His coach suggested, rather forcefully, that it might make more sense for him to oversee the games rather than play in them.
Before becoming a professional rugby union referee, Nigel worked on a dairy farm in west Wales and was also a youth worker. More recently he kicked off his own farming venture at home with a pedigree herd of Hereford cattle in Llanelli.
3. Full name
According to Wikipedia, his birth name was Nigel Farrell…
We’re not completely sure this is true.
Scarlets and Wales U20 centre Ioan Nicholas is the cousin of the top referee.