World-renowned referee Nigel Owens talks about the other side of his life as a farmer in west Wales as he prepares for life after rugby.
Although he’s got no plans to hang up his whistle just yet, he’s now got his own farm.
“I have had an interest in farming since I was a young kid,” revealed Owen in his column for Wales Online.
He added: “it has always played a huge part in my life away from the rugby field.
“Over the years I have been able to save up to buy my own farm with my partner Barrie and we’ve built up 26 pedigree Hereford cattle. Well, 27 by the time you read this but more of that later.
“I have bought the land, shed, animals and have started from scratch.I have named it the Mairwen herd pedigree, after my mother Rhachel Mairwen. It has a nice little ring to it and means a lot obviously.
“It was suggested to me as an idea by Neil, a friend who has helped me with the shed design and set up.
“My days are quite busy now between feeding the cattle and strawing them, making sure they have their dry bedding and generally looking after them as well as fitting in a bit of training to keep fit and there’s work to do on getting the cows ready to go out. It’s a busy and exciting time.
“There is a lot of work to do on the land too so that is taking up a lot of time. I am very lucky that I am able to do it during these scary times.
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“Obviously I want to get a decent herd going and having some nice calves coming on as breeding pedigree cattle. I’ve bought in some very good prize winning cattle from excellent blood lines Some of them who won’t make the grade will be going out for meat as well but the main thing will be for breeding so that will bode well for the future I hope.
“The farming community contributes a huge part to our culture and economy and I’m sure people now realise how important it is to keep the nation fed and healthy especially at times like this.”
13 Rugby players who are farmers
We love our rugby stars but we seem to love them even more if they enjoy a spot of farming on the side.
So today we’re celebrating the great farmers of the sport.
15 of them in fact. Let us know of anyone else who deserves a mention:
1. Sean O’Brien
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The Leinster, Ireland and Lions Flanker is a keen farmer in his hometown of Carlow and often posts updates of his farm on his Instagram.
A post shared by Seanobrien678 (@seanobrien678) on Aug 12, 2015 at 6:53am PDT
2. Colin Meads
Vere and his wife raised their five children on a sheep farm near Te Kuiti. Meads credits the farming lifestyle for his strong physique and high level of fitness during his days as an All Black.