It is only natural that Nigel Owens would make at least one mistake in a top-level refereeing career that spanned almost two decades.

And, in the third episode of his hysterical new YouTube show, Whistle Watch, the Rugby World Cup 2015 final referee spills the beans on his biggest error of judgement as an official.

But, those expecting Owens to reveal a call he got wrong will be disappointed, as the Welshman’s biggest regret came in how he approached a school match in 2007.

“I refereed Leinster-Wasps in the quarter-final of the European Cup back in 2007. And, then on the Wednesday after that game, I was refereeing my old school against Gowerton school in a cup game,” Owens said.

“And, I thought this schoolboy game was below me. I just went in there, didn't really care, didn't really concentrate and do the job that I should be doing, which was refereeing the game. And, I was terrible, I was awful. 

“So, I learnt then to treat every single game the same, and give every game the same respect that it deserves because for the players on the pitch, that is their big game.” 

Dan Carter’s new career

Watch episode three of Whistle Watch above and be sure to check the official World Rugby YouTube channel every Wednesday for the latest instalment.

One player that Owens refereed in several big games was Dan Carter, and he had some interesting career advice for the All Black legend following his retirement from playing.

“One of the greatest that has ever been, without a shadow of a doubt, not just on the field, but a great man off the field as well, is the legendary Dan Carter,” Owens said.

“The very best for the next chapter in your life, whatever it may be. Hey, maybe you could become a referee. You certainly thought you were one when you were playing!”

Keep it legal

Owens also offered some guidance to current players in the English Premiership and Super Rugby, following a recent rise in the number of red cards meted out by referees.

“The message to all the players out there: we want the big hits in the game, it is a contact sport,” he said. “But, we want those hits and tackles to be legal. 

“So, we really need to get the players to change their behaviour.”

Earlier in the show, Owens gave viewers a glimpse of his tractor, Bertha, and compared it to the vehicles used on the farm by the Barrett brothers and Sean O’Brien.

Owens was a fan of O’Brien’s dance moves, but it remains to be seen what the London Irish flanker will make of being compared to a couple of the ex-referee’s farm animals.

“I've got a couple of bulls here, and they always remind me of Sean O'Brien when he was on the charge with the ball under his arm,” Owens joked.

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