Six Nations Rugby

“I said,” Oh, I like your shoelaces “and he said,” It is very important to me, Nigel, that I show my support ’”

Legendary referee Nigel Owens had many popular moments on the field, but his conversation with French propeller Jefferson Poirot in the final stages of the Guinness Six Nations clash between England and France in 2019 still turns out to be a standout moment keep in mind

But for Owens, Poirot’s rainbow laces – as a token of support for the LGBTQ community – are just one small example of the ethos of respect that underpins the world of rugby:

“One of the strengths of rugby was that it was a sport of all shapes and sizes,” he explains “No matter what you look like, how fast, slow, tall, thin, tall you are, there is a place for you the rugby team and that includes you as a person too, I believe”

In a brand new video to mark the launch of Guinness Six Nations 2021 this weekend, Owens reflects on his decades-long career, the power of inclusivity and diversity in sport, and his own experiences since it was released in 2007

“When I came out […] I had news from all over the world From other referees, supporters, coaches, players That meant a lot,” he added

For Owens, the value of accepting every supporter and person on the pitch goes well beyond the final whistle: “Rugby as a sport […] is leading the way in breaking down barriers in society, I think it really is an ongoing struggle ”

The Welshman will be watching as a fan this weekend – and looks forward to doing the same as fans around the world, cheering on his side and moaning at the referee!







Sign in

How we use cookies

6 Nations Games

World News – UK – I had messages of support from around the world: Nigel Owens on the power of inclusivity in rugby