Rugby World Cup 2015 final referee Nigel Owens will take charge of the first match in the RWC 2019 cycle when St Vincent and the Grenadines host Jamaica in Kingstown on 5 March.
The Welshman’s most recent test match outing as referee was at Twickenham when New Zealand beat Australia 34-17 in the 2015 decider on 31 October and, when he travels to the more tropical surrounds of the Caribbean this week, will be refereeing his 69th full international.
Owens, pictured above during the 2015 final, said: “It’s an honour to be appointed to this important match and I will prepare in the same way as I always do. Indeed, every time I take the field as a referee it is an honour and even more so when it’s a test match. Reffing the Rugby World Cup final was a wonderful experience and one that I will treasure forever but every match is memorable in its own way and I am really looking forward to this next challenge.
“For the players in this match it will be a chance to represent their country on the international stage and be part of the Rugby World Cup process. So from my point of view, it is important that I prepare well and perform to the best of my ability. Hopefully, if I do that it will be a good game that allows the players’ talents and hard work to shine through.”
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