Nigel Owens is widely regarded as one of the greatest referees of all-time and is amongst the most iconic figures of the professional era of rugby union.
It’s actually interesting to note that the majority of the players that Owens picked are captains. The entire pack have captained their countries.
Here is the Welshman’’s best XV of players he’s refereed…It’s a pretty decent line-up, as you will no doubt agree.
15. Israel Folau (Australia) – This pick didn’t age well.
I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh Halfpenny he is one of the best under the high ball.
14. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader.
12. Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)
He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.
11. Shane Williams (Wales)
He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.