Nigel Owens ranks top 8 captains he refereed – including surprise England skipper

#4. John Smit (South Africa)

Owens said: “He led the Springboks to success at the 2007 World Cup in France and against the 2009 Lions and is probably one of the greatest captains I have dealt with. He’s a good man and was a very good player at hooker.”

#3. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

Owens said: “Quite simply he was just an exceptional leader. I have been in charge of games where he pretty much carried his team, whether it was Munster or Ireland, almost on his back and onto victory.

“Never took a backward step, stood tall and was a man others would follow”

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