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Owens to ref Rugby World Cup opener Japan-Russia in Tokyo

DUBLIN (AP) Nigel Owens will pick up where he left off at the Rugby World Cup when the Welshman referees the opening match in September between host Japan and Russia.

Owens was in control of the 2015 final in London where New Zealand beat Australia to retain the cup.

This will be Owens' fourth and last World Cup, along with Wayne Barnes of England. Both have refereed more than 80 tests. Barnes has said he's retiring after this World Cup. Owens is contracted to Wales only to the end of next season.