#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.