Born and bred on a council estate in Mynyddcerrig, Wales, Nigel first picked up the referee whistle aged 16.
He officiated his first international game in 2005 – a match between Ireland and Japan in Osaka.
Two years later in 2007, Nigel made his World Cup debut where he refereed the Argentina v Georgia game in Lyon.
Nigel is the only referee to officiate three consecutive Heineken Cup finals (2015, 2016 and 2017).
He has also refereed a record six Pro14 finals.
In 2015, he refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham.
As well as refereeing, Nigel Owens 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‘.
- Stonewall’s Gay Sports Personality of the Year and Gay Sports Personality of the Decade
- Honorary Doctorate at both Swansea and South Wales University
- Honorary Fellowship at both Cardiff Met University and Cardiff University
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 means Half Time.
In 2017, Nigel was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs‘ – listen to the interview. Furthermore, he presented a programme for Panorama on Eating Disorders in Men and Boys.
Awarded an MBE for services to sport in June 2016, Nigel continues to referee rugby matches around the world.
More recently, Nigel refereed at his fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.