Welshman Nigel Owens is not just any ordinary referee out there given charge to officiate a volatile final of a World Cup. Rugby fans as well as sportspersons know the no-nonsense man quite well, and there could have possibly not been a better man than Owens to take helm as the referee in the Rugby World Cup final 2015.
The All Blacks (New Zealand) take on The Wallabies (Australia) in a complete mouthwatering final at Twickenham today, and while many of us are aware of the strength of either team, not many are too familiar with the man who will be in the middle of it all -- Nigel Owens.
Owens, 44, is possibly one of the best-known referees in sports today, and his strictness, sharp observations, and the elan with which he has officiated in some of the rugby matches in his career so far, has made him an instant-favourite with the fans.
The Welshman gets to be the referee in the final of a Rugby World Cup for the first time, after losing out the same in the last two World Cups. Millions of spectators around the world are expected to be seeing Australia battle it out with New Zealand today and Owens -- the humble man that he is -- wants rugby to win at the end of the day.
"If I play the smallest, smallest part in allowing rugby to be the winner that day [the final] then my job is done," Owens was quoted before the game.
"If nobody is talking about the referee after the game then I'll be a very very happy man," he added.
Here are some snippets from Owens' refereeing in the Rugby World Cup this year:
It was eight years ago, in 2007, that Owens finally took a hard decision to come out publicly on prime-time TV to declare that he was a gay, but that changed nothing.
Being the only gay referee in the history of rugby so far could be seen as a shock for me, but his fans accepted him openly and Owens went on to become one of the most respected referees in the game.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand vs Australia kicks-off at at 4 pm GMT (9.30 pm IST, 12 pm ET, 5 am NZT, 3 am AEDT). Check the preview HERE.