Ref Watch: It’s showtime!

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The Guinness Pro14 gets up and running again this weekend with Cardiff Blues making the trip out west to face Scarlets in Llanelli.

While recognisable faces will be back in action in each side, the man in the middle may well be one of the most well-known people on the field as Nigel Owens takes the whistle for his 186th league game.

When he’s not writing his weekly column for WalesOnline or appearing on various S4C shows, Owens is still refereeing at the top level some 18 years after making his debut at Caerphilly v Llanelli in September 2002.

His record in Cardiff Blues games across all competitions in that time stands at 39 matches, 14 wins, 24 losses and a single draw, but on the last occasion he took charge of one of our games we did beat the Dragons last Boxing Day at the Arms Park.

There is also good news as Owens was in charge the last time we travelled to Parc y Scarlets, overseeing the comfortable 5-34 win for John Mulvihill’s men in December 2018.

On a general level there is always concern when the away team with him refereeing, as 67% of games he handles end in home wins, but with no supporters present to exert pressure the hope is that playing at home won’t have such a big advantage.

Owens will be assisted by Ben Whitehouse and Daniel Jones, with Wayne Davies acting as the Television Match Official.

All refereeing statistics come via cardiffrfcfans.com

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