Nigel Owens is known and respected the world over as a rugby referee extraordinaire but also for his witty banter with the players. Last month in a Pro 12 match he stepped it up a level.

The match in question was at the RDS Arena, where Ireland’s Leinster hosted the Scarlets of Llanelli. The result was a comprehensive 45-9 victory for the home side, who eventually pulled away after leading 12-9 at half-time. The story here though is not about Carbery’s two tries from 15, Kirchner’s performance at centre, or how New Zealand’s very own Johnny McNicholl is adapting to the Northern way of playing. No, it is about Owens and his unique handling of a situation.

You will see from the following Tweet that Owens managed to pull off a slightly awkward situation with aplomb. Yellow-carding the ball boy in a jovial manner that diffused any awkwardness, made everyone laugh, and let the game continue.

Then immediately after the match, Owens took to Twitter to track down the ball boy, so he could present him with his jersey.

Just over a month later the jersey; cleaned, signed, and now cherished, turned up to the ball boy Joe.

After having had the pleasure of attending a talk given by Owens in Auckland prior to refereeing the third Bledisloe test last year, this sort of kind and generous behaviour does not surprise me.

Well played Nigel. Well played!

With your hard work and dedication to the cause, you are promoting the all important referee in the best possible light. Total respect from The Shed!


Author: Steven Prescott

I am a total sports fanatic; it is as simple as that. I love all sports, and when I’m not sitting at my computer living my dream with The 1014, I am planning adventures. The last time I did this I ended up convincing my wife to cycle 26,125km across three continents, and 22 countries with me as part of the Pedalling Prescotts.


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