Owens to Referee the PRO14 Final
It must surely be the most unsurprising referees’ appointment of all time -0 Nigel Owens to referee the PRO14 Final, as he has done five times before.
The match will be played on this Saturday, 25 May 2019, between Glasgow Warriors and Leinster Rugby at Glasgow’s Celtic Park, the biggest soccer ground in Scotland with a capacity of just over 60 000, the home of one of the world’s most famous soccer clubs.
The teams competing for the trophy are Leinster of Ireland and locals Glasgow Warriors. It is a short trip from Ireland to Glasgow, and big and excited crowd is expected.
It will be the 180th PRO14 (Celtic League) match refereed by Owens, most capped Test referee of all time, having refereed 76 Tests. Finals are not new to Owens who has refereed six European Cup finals as well as the last World Cup Final (2015).
Forming a team with Owens are assistant referees John Lacey of Ireland and Mike Adamson of Scotland, and TMO Ian Davies of Wales.
A PRO14 statement on the appointments states: “The decision to appoint the officials was based primarily on performance and capability. Owens, Lacey and Adamson have been the best performing match officials during the 2018/19 season with all three taking charge of games in this season’s Guinness PRO14 Final Series.”
It quotes Greg Garner, PRO14’s manager of elite referees, as saying: “Early in the year the board of Celtic Rugby gave myself and the union referee managers the backing to ensure we appointed the best match officials for the biggest games of the season and I’m very pleased that our best three referees will be on the pitch at Celtic Park.
“I would like to congratulate all of our primary team. Nigel Owens has tremendous experience and it is a great credit to him to receive a 13th appointment to a major rugby final. Supporting Nigel, we have John Lacey, an international referee since 2010 who has been appointed at World Cup level and will be signing off on his career on one of the biggest occasions after tremendous service to the tournament and the sport.
“I’m particularly satisfied that Mike Adamson has made the selection process easy with the standard of his performances this year. Last weekend Mike was the first Scottish official to referee a knock-out game in the Championship since 2001 and we were really pleased with his handling of Leinster and Munster match – a game that was played at Test-match standard.”