nigel owens

International rugby referee, Nigel Owens has received an honorary degree from Swansea University.

Mr Owens was presented with Doctor of Laws award during a graduation ceremony.

Nigel Owens has proven himself to be an inspirational figure of our generation, in the world of rugby undoubtedly; but also off the field, to millions who can relate to his determination, his pride and his pursuit of excellence.


Nigel Owens was appointed as an international referee in 2005 and made his World Cup debut in 2007. He is also the most capped referee in European competition.

Shortly after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Owens was named ‘Gay Sports Personality of the Year’ at gay rights group Stonewall’s awards ceremony in London.

In 2015 Owens was appointed as the referee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham.

I am humbled to receive this award from Swansea University.

When I am on the rugby field, whether in a world cup final or a local game, it makes no odds to me, I always endeavour to apply the principles of fairness and a simple adherence to the rules, in doing this, I hope to preserve the integrity of this great sport we call rugby.

“Of course, the laws of fairness should apply off the pitch too which is why I am proud about my charity work with Bullies Out and formerly as a patron of LGBT Wales.