Legendary referee Nigel Owens has had many well-loved moments on the sector however his chat with French prop Jefferson Poirot within the latter phases of the Guinness Six Nations conflict between England and France in 2019 continues to be remembered as a stand-out second.
However for Owens, Poirot’s rainbow laces – worn as an indication of assist for the LGBTQ+ group – are only one small instance of the ethos of respect that underpins the world of rugby:
“One in every of rugby’s strengths has been that it’s a sport for all sizes and styles,” he explains “It doesn’t matter what you appear like, how briskly, gradual, tall, skinny, huge you might be, there’s a spot for you within the rugby staff. And that features you as an individual as properly, I consider.”
In a model new video launched to mark the beginning of Guinness Six Nations 2021 this weekend, Owens displays on his decades-long profession, the ability of inclusivity and variety in sport, and his personal experiences since popping out in 2007.
“After I got here out […] I had messages from all around the world. From fellow referees, supporters, coaches, gamers. That meant rather a lot,” he added.
For Owens, the worth in accepting each supporter and each individual on the pitch for who they’re lasts far past the ultimate whistle:” Rugby as a sport […] leads the way in which in breaking down obstacles in society as properly, I consider. It’s a persevering with combat actually.”
The Welshman will watch this weekend as a fan – and appears ahead to doing the identical factor as followers all around the world, cheering his side on and moaning at the ref!