Nigel Owens has offered his forecasts for the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-finals, which have been determined following an action-packed weekend.
In the first of the quarter-final matches, Argentina emerged victorious by defeating Wales 29-17 in a clash held in Marseille on Saturday. Subsequently, New Zealand managed to secure a win against Ireland with a final score of 28-24 at the Stade de France.
The remaining semi-final matchups took place on Sunday. England narrowly triumphed in a physically demanding encounter against Fiji in Marseille. Owen Farrell’s drop goal and penalty ensured a 30-24 victory, despite the Flying Fijians briefly equalizing the score.
South Africa clinched the final semi-final berth by overcoming the host nation, France. The Springboks, who are the reigning champions due to their 32-12 victory over England in the 2019 final in Japan, are now in contention for the title once again.
In terms of his quarter-final predictions, Owens successfully predicted one out of four outcomes in the previous weekend.
Ahead of this weekend, he wrote on Twitter: “Ok then here we go. Predictions for the semi finals. 1 out of 4 correct in quarters
“My prediction for the semis are New Zealand and South Africa to make it to the final. Best of luck all teams and officials.”
Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final draw
- SF1: Argentina vs New Zealand
- SF2: England vs South Africa
Dates and kick-off times
Friday 20 October
- Semi-final 1: Argentina vs New Zealand – Stade de France, Saint-Denis (8pm BST)
Saturday 21 October
- Semi-final 2: England vs South Africa – Stade de France, Saint-Denis (8pm BST)
“Led England at a tough time” – Nigel Owens ranks the top five captains he has refereed
The popular referee selected his picks for Wales Online, but set out at the start that he wouldn’t be picking any Welshman in his selection.
“I am not going to include any Welsh players on my list because I haven’t refereed them in international matches.
“Anyway, these are my top Test skippers ranked, Welshmen aside.”
NIGEL OWENS: MY TOP 5 CAPTAINS
#5. Chris Robshaw (England)
The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.
Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.
Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.
Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”