1. Nigel Owens (Wales)
Uniquely popular among players and supporters, Nigel Owens is known as much for his one liners as he is for his officiating. The Welshman, who took charge of the 2015 Rugby World Cup final referees games in a positive manner, looking to keep the game flowing by being quick to penalise players who do not roll away or release.
Although some criticise him for becoming the centre of attention, Owens has built up a good relationship with players who respect him in turn. Hung up his international whistle in December 2020 after reaching 100 tests during the Autumn Nations Cup.
- All Black legend Dan Carter ranks his five toughest opponents
- The current 36-man Lions squad, according to the bookies
- Piers Morgan picks his all-time greatest rugby XV
- Every Premiership club’s best player out of contract in 2021