When Nigel Owens blows the whistle at Stade de France on Saturday, it will signal the start of his eleventh Championship as a referee and his 18th NatWest 6 Nations match.
Those stats mean he is the most capped referee in the Championship’s history surpassing the record of 17 matches held by Allan Rolland and Jonathan Kaplan.
This is “Nige” – Chapter 1: The Reunion
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) February 1, 2018
You may think his experience would mean his job only gets easier, but, ahead of France’s meeting with Italy, Owens explains it’s quite the opposite
“It’s more difficult to referee now because the ball-in-play time is higher and every single decision is scrutinised to the nth degree,” said the 46-year-old.
“When you’re still on the field, the replays have brought a different type of pressure.
“If you missed a forward pass or a knock-on back in the day, you wouldn’t know about it until reviewing the game, but now everyone in the stadium sees it, the players see it.
“There is nowhere to hide.”