Nigel Owens


Nigel Owens is the world’s most recognisable rugby union referee. Currently, he is the world record holder for the most test matches refereed and has officiated some of the biggest rugby matches in rugby union history. Owens is a hugely respected man, not only for his expertise as a referee but also because he was the first openly gay man to come out in professional rugby. In a very masculine and male dominated sport, this was a huge moment for the sport and he created history within the sport. As a rugby speaker, Owens often discusses the courage and determination it required to openly come out as gay within such a masculine sport.

He first officiated professionally in a 2001 Challenge Cup game between London Irish and Piacenza. Owens officiated a second-tier international match in 2003 but received his first International Rugby Board appointment in Ireland’s tour of Japan in 2005. Owens’ career rapidly grew and he was soon refereeing some of the biggest games in Europe, he refereed the 2010-11 Heineken Cup quarter-final. In the same year, Owens refereed the 2011 Celtic League Grand Final match and received outstanding praise from representatives of both clubs in the final.

Owens was the only Welsh referee in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and he refereed three games. He continued to referee a number of European domestic finals to an extremely high standard and was recognised as the best referee in the world by many. An expert in performing under pressure, Owens demonstrated this when officiating the World Cup final in 2015, he became only the second Welsh referee to referee a World Cup final. In the same year, Owens was awarded the World Rugby Referee award at the 2015 World Rugby Awards>/cite>.

An extremely successful rugby union referee with a compelling and moving story, Nigel Owens is the perfect rugby speaker. Having dealt with overcoming adversity and dealing with pressure throughout his career, Owens has the knowledge and expertise required to be a successful speaker. He has wonderful communication skills and a warming personality making him the perfect choice for you.

To book Nigel Owens for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below:

When at corporate events, Nigel is known to cover the following topics:

  • Rugby Speaker
  • Sports Speaker
  • TV Presenter
  • Management & Leadership
  • Performing Under Pressure
  • LGBT Community
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Overcoming Adversity