About

Nigel Owens is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He is an international and Heineken Cup referee and was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and is regarded as the first openly gay man to referee at the highest level.

Nigel was appointed as an international referee in 2005, and that year officiated his first international between Ireland and Japan in Osaka. Owens made his World Cup debut in Lyon, France on 11 September 2007 in the Argentina vs. Georgia match.

He is one of only two referees to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals. He has since done a third final, this as well as two Amlin finals makes a total of five European Finals making him the most capped referee in European competition.

In 2011, he was made a member of the Gorsedd of Bards. Nigel Owens was raised in the small village of Mynyddcerrig, Carmarthenshire, Wales and is a fluent Welsh speaker. His autobiography, Hanner Amser (Half Time), was published in Welsh in 2008, then English in 2009.

He was a patron of the LGBT Centre of Excellence Wales, until its disbandment in late 2012, but he is still that of the Wooden Spoon Society rugby charity. In 2013, he became a patron of Bullies Out charity in Wales.

Speech Topics

Nigel Owens is an extremely popular, humorous and entertaining after dinner speaker for a wide range of corporate functions, private parties and association or sports club dinners.

The first professional rugby referee to come out as gay, Nigel Owens struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, triggering serious problems with his mental health as a young man, including bouts of bulimia and a suicide attempt.

He is regularly booked to give motivational speeches about LGBTQ+ themes and the importance of open dialogue and conversation around mental health. Accepting who he is, was the biggest challenge of his life.

Nigel is also sought-after for his humorous but informative and engaging keynote presentations on topics and themes such as leadership, collaboration, communication and decisive decision-making under pressure.

Testimonials

Please pass on our thanks to Nigel for a fantastic turn. His speech and Q&A were first class and everyone really appreciated the fact he signed autographs and was happy to have a few photos taken.

Tim - Gambica.

Please can you pass on our thanks to Nigel for an excellent session. The feedback from the conference has been very positive. His talk was described as:- “Very touching” “an excellent speaker” “an inspirational speaker” “brilliant talk”

Tessa - NHS Wales.

Nigel was brilliant on the night and had the whole audience gripped, l really think everyone enjoyed his after-dinner talk and having him at the conference really enhanced the delegates experience.

Lianne - British Psychological Society.

Nigel’s talk was extremely well received by all. A story that many could resonate with told in a very engaging way.

Laura Bevan - Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Wow – been to a few annual dinners by now but this year is the 1st time we’ve had a standing ovation for the after dinner speaker Nigel Owens.

Nick Speed, Director BT – CBI Annual Dinner.

totally engaging at CIPD Conference today.

Helen Baldwin, Group HR Director, Inspiretec Group Ltd.

Inspirational input by Nigel Owens.

Su Coombes, British Primary Heads Conference.

Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Nigel Owens MBE. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

How to book Nigel Owens MBE for your event

To book Nigel Owens MBE, please submit an online enquiry, email bookings@nmp.co.uk or speak with one of our booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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I was very pleased with the service I received from NMP Live, the agent was very helpful and professional. I will definitely look to NMP Live in the future.
Nicole Hardaker, EAIE Conference Programme Coordinator
MORE TESTIMONIALS
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