Nigel Owens MBE is recognised as one of the world’s best rugby referees.
He is the first openly gay man to referee at the highest level.
Born and bred on a council estate in Mynyddcerrig, he first picked up the referee whistle aged 16.
Owens officiated his first international game in 2005 between Ireland and Japan in Osaka.
He made his World Cup debut in 2017 refereeing the Argentina v Georgia game in Lyon.
He is one of two referees ever to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals (2008 and 2009).
In 2015, Nigel Owens was appointed referee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham.
Aside from refereeing, Nigel is a co-presenter on S4C’s ‘Jonathan‘ – the rugby-themed Welsh language show hosted by Jonathan Davies.
Nigel also co-presents the sports-themed Welsh language chat show ‘Bwrw’r Bar‘
His autobiography was released in in Nov 2008. Initially published in Welsh called “Hanner Amser” which translated means ‘Half Time‘.
Owens was named ‘Gay Sports Personality of the Year‘ by gay rights group Stonewall at their annual 2007 awards ceremony in London.
In 2011, Nigel was made a member of the Gorsedd of Bards at their National Eisteddfod in Wrexham.
Awarded an MBE for services to sport in June 2016, Nigel continues to referee international rugby matches around world.
Off the pitch, Nigel Owens is an extremely popular and entertaining after-dinner speaker.
Nigel can also deliver keynote speeches with a focus on diversity. Recent feedback:
“I honestly don’t think I can put into words how incredible Nigel was. People were in tears, he owned the room and his story was so moving and authentic”
In 2017, Nigel was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs‘