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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Nigel Owens will make history when he takes charge of Fiji v Tonga in June

World Rugby have announced the appointments for this summer’s internationals.

Owens will officiate his 71st Test match on 11 June.
Owens will officiate his 71st Test match on 11 June.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

WELSH REFEREE NIGEL Owens will take charge of a record 71st Test match when he officiates the June encounter between Fiji and Tonga, World Rugby have announced.

The match in Suva, Fiji’s capital, will see Owens claim the record outright from South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan, who oversaw 70 matches during his career as a Test referee.

Owens, 44, has established himself as one of the most respected referees in rugby since his Test debut in 2003 and refereed New Zealand’s victory over Australia in last year’s World Cup final.

“It’s an honour to be appointed to this important match and I will prepare in the same way as I always do,” Owens said.

“Indeed, every time I take the field as a referee it is an honour and even more so when it’s a Test match.

“I don’t think anyone goes into refereeing in order to break records like this, but I suppose what it says is that I’ve managed to stay at the top level of the game for a while now so there is a lot of satisfaction and pride that comes with that.”

Meanwhile, France’s Mathieu Raynal will take charge of Ireland’s first Test match against South Africa in Cape Town on 11 June.

Angus Garner and Glen Jackson will officiate the second and third Tests respectively.

© AFP 2016

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