Investigation launched into Nigel Owens homophobic abuse

Targeted after he refereed England’s 55-35 Six Nations victory over France at Twickenham

British Police have launched an investigation into alleged homophobic remarks on Twitter which were directed towards rugby union referee Nigel Owens.

The comments were posted after he refereed the England v France Six Nations match at Twickenham on Saturday, police said.

Dyfed-Powys Police said in a statement: “This follows a number of complaints made by members of the public. The tweet concerned has now been removed from the page. The investigation is at an early stage.”

Owens, who is Welsh and gay, was previously the subject of homophobic and racist abuse by England fans during last November’s international against New Zealand, which was reported by another supporter in a letter sent to The Guardian, and led to two people being banned from Twickenham for two years.


Owens said in response to the November incident: “I think there’s no doubt there are certain sections of rugby crowds which are changing. You can sense the change in attitude and maybe there is an argument to say it is becoming more like football. It is still a minority but it is there. We can’t let rugby go down that route.”

England scored seven tries in beating France 55-35 in a dramatic contest, but were unable to overturn a pre-match 26-point deficit as Ireland clinched the Six Nations title on points difference.