Nigel Owens On This Weekend’s Champions Cup Final & When He Will Retire
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Nigel Owens will be the man in charge this weekend as Clermont & Saracens battle it out for the Champions Cup.
It will be Owens’ third European final in a row and a sixth in total having first officiated in European rugby in the 2001 Challenge Cup.
The final will also be the 100th game in the tournament that the former World Referee of the year has taken charge of.
“I am really proud,” said Owens.
“The European final is the biggest club game in the northern hemisphere if not the world game. I am as excited now doing the sixth one as I was doing the first one. That is why I am still refereeing because I still get that buzz.”
“Without blowing my own trumpet, which is the last thing I like to do, there is not much more to achieve because I have done everything in rugby refereeing apart from the Calcutta Cup.
“I am not refereeing because I want any milestones or records or this being my 100th game. But when those do come along and the 100th game happens to fall on the final as well, it adds something more special to it as well.
“The final is for the two teams, for Saracens and Clermont, but to play a little small part in that is something I am proud of.”
On retirement, Owens plans on hanging his boots up at the end of the 2019-20 season.
“My love is the only thing that keeps me going and I am only going to get that if I am performing at my best,” he said.
“The only reason my form will go permanently is when my fitness goes so it’s down to the body really. The body is good at the moment and I am as fit as I have ever been.
“I hope to keep that going and I am looking at the end of the 2019-20 season where I will be nearly 49.
“That will be probably be it then. It might be before then but that’s the plan at the moment.”