28 November 2020

Referee Nigel Owens ‘humbled’ by messages from players and coaches ahead of 100th test

Players and fans have marked Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens’ record of officiating 100 tests with a flood of tributes on social media.

Owens, 49, reached the landmark taking charge of France v Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup.

He said: “I am even more humbled today with all your kind messages from not only greats of the game, but also on social media from the supporters too. Each and everyone one of your messages means so much. I am truly humbled and grateful. #rugbyfamily”

Among those sending Owens congratulations was Australia’s captain Michael Hooper.

He said: “Congratulations on 100 test matches, huge achievement, first one to do it as a referee. All the best in Paris in the upcoming test, enjoy it I know it will be a big occasion for yourself and your family. Well done.”

And former Wales coach Warren Gatland said: “I hope you have a brilliant day, what you’ve achieved in the game for Welsh rugby and world rugby is absolutely outstanding.”

Owens’ first test was back in 2003 when Portugal played Georgia.

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