Openly gay Welsh referee Nigel Owens came out in 2007 during a Wales on Sunday interview, and says public response to the news was largely positive.
“It’s such a big taboo to be gay in my line of work, I had to think very hard about it because I didn’t want to jeopardize my career,” he said at the time. “Coming out was very difficult and I tried to live with who I really was for years. I knew I was ‘different’ from my late teens, but I was just living a lie.”
Now, it’s been announced that Owens, who’s overseen over 65 international test matches since he was made an international referee in 2005, will referee the final game between the All Blacks and the Wallabies.
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“I want to thank my friends and family for their ongoing support and for helping me through some rough times in my life,” Owens said shortly after the news was announced.