Further honours for Dennis Gethin and Nigel Owens

Two prominent ambassadors of the Welsh Rugby Union have been honoured by Welsh Universities.

WRU president Dennis Gethin has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University of Wales Trinity Saint David, while most capped international referee Nigel Owens received the same honour from both University of Wales Cardiff and Cardiff Metropolitan.

Both individuals were also recognised on the Queen's Birthday Honours List last month and will be awarded an OBE and MBE respectively.

Along with his role as WRU President, Mr Gethin, who was recognised for services to Welsh Rugby, is Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust for severely injured rugby players, President Wales Deaf Rugby, Patron of Glamorgan County Rugby, President of Cor Meibion Pontypridd, Vice President of Cor Meibion De Cymru and is a member of the Gorsedd of Bards.

He said, "It is a tremendous honour to be recognised by such a respected academic institution as University of Wales Trinity Saint David. I am particularly grateful to the grassroots rugby clubs, who are the backbone of Welsh rugby and are so vital to the wellbeing of the game in Wales, for their support. Without the untiring work of volunteers there would be no future for the game."

Nigel Owens was recognised by University of Wales Cardiff for his outstanding achievement within refereeing but also his wider contribution to Welsh life and culture.

In a speech in St David's Hall, Cardiff, Owens called on the young graduates to grab opportunities that come their way and remember their roots.

"One of the most fundamental values of my sport, rugby union, is respect, and that's something that's lacking in today's society. We are all different but it's important to respect each other's differences and treat each other equally. You have the opportunity to make society a better place through respecting others.

"Always take opportunities that come your way and give it your best, but never forget your friends, families, communities, schools and Universities who have helped you along the way."

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