Welsh referee Nigel Owens will achieve another magical milestone when he becomes a world record holder by taking charge of his 71st Test match this summer.

Owens will referee the Fiji and Tonga match in Suva on June 11 and become the most experienced international referee of all time, taking over from Jonathan Kaplan of South Africa, who refereed 70 tests during his career.


Since making his Test debut in 2003 when Portugal beat Georgia 34-30 in Lisbon, Owens has developed into one of the most respected match officials in the game’s history.

From Cardiff to Christchurch and from Krasnoyarsk in Siberia to Kingstown in St Vincent, he has travelled the world with his boots and whistle for the past 13 years.

In that time he has taken charge of 16 Six Nations matches and 12 in The Rugby Championship, as well as three European Cup finals and, the biggest one of them all, the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham last October.

He was also named the world’s best referee in 2015.