IRB.COM Tuesday 11 December 2012
The International Rugby Board has announced the appointment of the Emirates Airline-sponsored match officials for the RBS 6 Nations 2013, which begins on February 2 and concludes on March 16. Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee following a detailed review of performances during the recent November Tests.
Frenchman Romain Poite will take charge of the first match of the championship between Wales and Ireland in Cardiff, while the final round of matches on March 16 will be refereed by Wayne Barnes (Italy v Ireland), Steve Walsh (Wales v England) and Nigel Owens (France v Scotland).
The full list of referees for the RBS 6 Nations 2013 is: Wayne Barnes (RFU), George Clancy (IRFU), Jerome Garces (FFR), Craig Joubert (SARU), Nigel Owens (WRU), Jaco Peyper (SARU) Romain Poite (FFR), Alain Rolland (IRFU) and Steve Walsh (ARU). Poite, Owens, Clancy, Joubert, Barnes and Walsh will referee two matches each.
The referees will also undertake assistant referee duties alongside a group of up-and-coming match officials who have earned their place owing to their performances in recent Tests and at the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa earlier this year.
Chris Pollock (NZRU) was unavailable for consideration due to injury.
IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman, IRB Council Member and former Scotland and British and Irish Lions flanker John Jeffery said: “The RBS 6 Nations is always a tough and hard-fought competition and is one of the highlights of the Rugby calendar.”
“Following careful consideration and after reviewing in detail all performances from the November Tests, the committee has selected a panel of match officials that applies the best-for-best principle but also maintains an eye on the future so that we are in a position to bring the best available panel to Rugby World Cup 2015.”
“As part of the selection system we continue to consult with coaches and teams and I would like to thank the Unions for their feedback, dedication and full support of the process.”
The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the Game. The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance.
The selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.