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Nigel Owens may retire

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Nigel Owens may retire at end of season

Nigel Owens is deliberating over whether or not he will retire at the end of the current season.

Owens – who historically refereed Wales for the first time having received a special dispensation from World Rugby – told Channel 4 Sport in a post-match interview that he is still undecided about this refereeing future.

Owens, who is widely regarded as the world’s top referee, says he’s waiting until the Six Nations to make up his mind.

“I’m carrying on for a little bit. Hopefully I’ll be involved in the Six Nations and I’ll sit down and take stock with the people around me and see what’s what.”

Owens appeared to imply that he might stay on for another season.

“Once I’m still enjoying it, but more importantly, once I’m still able to put in the performances, then I’ll continue to enjoy it but I certainly don’t have plans of going on too long.

“I honestly don’t know when that time will be. It won’t be far away. It will be this season or…I honestly don’t know.

Owens has always remained somewhat elusive about his retirement. In 2016 he revealed that he felt he had three years left in him and that the 2019 Rugby World Cup was set to be his swansong.

Owens, who reffed the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, was ruled out of contention for the 2019 final due to injury, with Jerome Garces taking charge. Some media outlets had reported that the 48-year-old was set to run the lines as an assistant referee, if he had been fit.

Owens was the first Welshman to referee his own country since Derek Bevan in 2000, also versus the Barbarians.

When Test rugby began in the 1800s the tradition was for the host country to appoint the referee.

The Welshman’s quips and one-liners – as well as his free-flowing refereeing style – have seen him become a celebrity off the pitch in recent years. He starred in a number of tongue-in-cheek ads in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, which played upon his humourous approach to the game.

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Nigel Owens may retire at end of season