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Nigel Owens Has Been Offered An Intriguing Coaching Position By South Africa

Nigel Owens Has Been Offered An Intriguing Coaching Position By South Africa
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Nigel Owens is widely regarded as one of the most dependable voices in rugby when it comes to discussing the laws of the sport.

The Welshman was an excellent referee in his day, being considered as one of the best officials in the game. While he would retire from top level refereeing in 2020, many still look to him as a guide on the rules of rugby.

As a result, one team is currently looking to bring him on board ahead of the World Cup.

Nigel Owens offered South Africa coaching role

Considering South Africa's issues with officials over the last couple of years, it should not come as a surprise to learn that they have contacted Nigel Owens about the possibility of joining their backroom team ahead of the World Cup in France later this year.


Such a move would not be unusual among international teams. For example, former referee Jerome Garces has acted as a vital part of the France staff and played a role in their resurgence over the last couple of seasons.

However, it is rare for a team to look outside of their own nation to fill such a position.

Writing in his column on Wales Online, Nigel Owens revealed how the offer came about and why it is such an attractive proposition. He said that other obligations could get in the way, but he will be considering his future in the coming days.


South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus phoned me a few days later and indeed asked me if I’d be interested in returning to the Test arena and joining up with them in the summer as a law and strategy consultant.

The role itself, as Rassie explained, would be nothing new for me. It would entail me being in South Africa with the squad, refereeing their contact sessions and helping them with their understanding of what they can and can’t do on the field...

After what we’ve seen in South African rugby over the past 18 months or so, an important part of the role would be helping Rassie and co to turn over a new leaf and improve the relationship between coaches, players and the referee...

I’ve known Rassie for a long time, I was refereeing when he was over here at Munster. So I had a good, positive chat with him and he told me what the Springboks expect from their side of things. At the end of our conversation, I told him I’d have to think about it...

It’s obviously an incredibly exciting opportunity and I think these kinds of roles are good for the integrity of the game as a whole and benefit the players and the referees. If you can improve the feedback between teams and officials and cut down on things like penalties in games, then that can only be a good thing.

But, despite all that, it comes down to whether this is coming at the right time for me at the moment.

Nigel Owens has admitted that while he is very intrigued by this offer, accepting it is not a straightforward move. He has commitments in his personal life, while he has also been a long-standing employee within the WRFU and often works with both referees and players within the country to help improve their understanding of the laws of the game.

Still, it would be interesting to see what sort of impact he could have on the South African setup.

SEE ALSO: 5 Players From The 2008 Ireland U20s With Different Journeys In Life

ireland u20s irish rugby six nations 2008 dave kearney
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