Nigel Owens responds to retirement rumours

Popular Welsh referee Nigel Owens has played down suggestions he will quit refereeing following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“I don’t plan to hang up my own whistle just yet and hopefully will get more Test matches,” wrote Owens.

‘There is no age limit on international referees, so to speak, it’s down to fitness and performance.

“Provided my fitness is OK, I’m still enjoying refereeing and my reviews are good – which they have been in this World Cup – I won’t be stopping just yet.

He also revealed the wonderful gesture from Owen Farrell and Kieran Read following the semi-final

“There was also a lovely moment at the end of the game when unbeknown to me, my TMO Marius Jonker had arranged for Owen Farrell and Kieran Read, the respective captains, to sign the match ball for me.” wrote Owens in his column for Wales Online.

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“Marius and my touch judges held a little presentation in the changing room when they handed over the ball. I can tell you there was a little tear in my eyes, I got a bit emotional, knowing it was my final World Cup game and this was such a lovely note upon which to finish.

“Owen and Kieran had each written ‘Best wishes Nige.’ They are a credit to the sport, two top quality players, but who are also brilliant captains and are impressive characters on and off the pitch.

“From my own experience as a referee, you rarely get a moment’s trouble with either of them. Very dignified individuals, great role models.”

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