Referee Nigel Owens has announced his retirement from the international game after controlling 100 Test matches.
Welshman Owens, 49, became the first rugby union referee to succeed in that figure when he took charge of the Autumn Nations Cup game between France and Italy in Paris last month.
And he has now decided to bring down the curtain with immediate effect on a Test career that began 17 years ago and was highlighted by him taking charge of the 2015 World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham.
“Nobody features a divine right to travel on forever,” Owens said, during a statement released by the Welsh Rugby Union.
“There comes a time where it’s time to maneuver on, so international refereeing will come to an end now. That France versus Italy game was my last match game . to travel out on 100 may be a blast to travel .
“I am not getting to be around for 2023 (World Cup). i do not want to be. I still hope to referee within the PRO 14 and locally in Wales this season, and perhaps next season also .
“I will definitely still referee within the community game, because once you are very fortunate to urge such a lot out of something i feel it’s hugely important that you simply give something back thereto also.
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