All Blacks legend hails Ken Owens on landmark weekend
Ken Owens and Kieran Read were on opposing sides during the memorable 2017 Lions Tour of New Zealand – but that hasn’t stopped the All Blacks legend leading the tributes on a landmark weekend for the Welshman.
The British & Irish Lions hooker plays his 250th match for his club side Scarlets on Saturday and will lead the team out ahead of their Guinness PRO14 match against Dragons.
“I am probably the last person you would expect to hear from,” began Read, a reference to the history between the pair dating back to the final Test in 2017.
Read, captaining the hosts in the series, was unhappy about a late offside decision involving Owens which led to a scrum rather than a penalty for his side in a classic encounter which ended 15-15.
The Welshman has since revealed Read was not overly forthcoming in the aftermath when congratulated on his 100th cap, though the All Black flanker did apologise to Owens after the two nations met at the 2019 World Cup.
KEN’S 250 | Messages of congratulations have come in for Ken from across the rugby world 🌏
Here are a few (with some familiar faces!!) ahead of today’s game 👊
Nifer o negeseuon yn llongyfarch Ken ar draws y byd rygbi, dyma rhai i chi pic.twitter.com/F3ilSWrOhx
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) August 29, 2020
And in a further sign that any bad blood is well and truly behind them, Read went on to hail Owens for his remarkable longevity.
“From this side of the world, I’d like to congratulate you on your 250 games for the Scarlets,” he said.
“It’s a hell of an achievement, I can’t think of many other players around the world who get to achieve that for their club.
“Congratulations mate and enjoy it.”
Owens, a one-club man who has represented Scarlets since 2006, received congratulatory messages from across the rugby world.
His Lions teammates Rory Best, Jamie George and James Haskell were among those to pay tribute.
Best, also part of the touring squad in 2017, said: “I just want to send you a massive congratulations on getting to 250 caps for a club that you’ve supported and always wanted to play for.
“It’s an unbelievable achievement – congratulations.”