Nigel Owens MBE is one of the world’s best rugby referees.
Furthermore, he is the first openly gay man to referee at the highest level.
Born and bred on a council estate in Mynyddcerrig, Nigel first picked up the referee whistle aged 16.
Owens officiated his first international game in 2005 between Ireland and Japan in Osaka.
He later made his World Cup debut in 2017 refereeing the Argentina v Georgia game in Lyon.
Nigel is one of two referees ever to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals (2008 and 2009).
In 2015, Nigel Owens refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham.
As well as refereeing, Nigel is a co-presenter on S4C’s ‘Jonathan‘ – the rugby-themed Welsh language show hosted by Jonathan Davies.
Additionally, Nigel also co-presents the sports-themed Welsh language chat show ‘Bwrw’r Bar‘
In 2007, the gay rights group Stonewall named Owens as ‘Gay Sports Personality of the Year‘.
At the National Eisteddfod in Wrexham, Nigel became a member of the Gorsedd of Bards .
In November 2008 he released his autobiography in Welsh called “Hanner Amser” which translated means Half Time.
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.
Aside from anecdotal speeches, Nigel can also deliver keynote presentations with a focus on diversity, mental health and overcoming adversity. 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‘