Debuts galore as Aviva Premiership and PRO14 rounds clash with Internationals

Claire Hodnett - First female Premiership TMO

It’s week three of the autumn international window and as the World Rugby elite referees follow round the top tier players, their absence from the home leagues allows new referees to step up and make their mark.

In the Aviva Premiership, Claire Hodnett (pictured) becomes the first female TMO on Friday night as Newcastle host Gloucester and on the field, 24-year old Christophe Ridley takes charge of London Irish v Wasps.

In the PRO14, Craig Evans debuts with the whistle in the Cardiff Blues v Connacht match and Sam Grove-White (left) referees Leinster v Dragons.

Hodnett was the first female official to join the RFU’s national panel of referees in 2014 and refereed at her second Women’s Rugby World Cup last summer. She now moves into the TMO truck as she looks after JP Doyle and his assistants Tim Wigglesworth and Peter Allan.  Ridley is a graduate of the former World Cup referee Chris White’s RFU Referee Academy which previously produced Matt Carley (on international duty himself as Fiji play Canada in France). He became a professional referee two season ago and has refereed in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season as part of his development.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will see rainbow laces being sported by officials and players in the Aviva Premiership this weekend as everyone supports for RainbowLaces, the campaign run by LGBT charity Stonewall to promote LGBT inclusion in sport. The match officials will wear a special rainbow logo on their shirts as well.

On the international scene, Romain Poite is in action in Italy as they host South Africa, after their win in Paris last weekend. Wayne Barnes is in Cardiff as the All Blacks take on Wales, and in Edinburgh, Pascal Gaüzère will be trying to keep Michael Cheika’s blood pressure down as he oversees Scotland v Australia. Cheika avoided disciplinary action after his reactions at various points at Twickenham last weekend, but it would hard for World Rugby not to act if that is repeated.


Autumn International

Italy v South Africa
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
ARs: John Lacey (Ireland) & Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Scotland v Australia
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
ARs: JP Doyle (England) & David Wilkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Wales v New Zealand
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
ARs: Jérôme Garcès (France) & Frank Murphy (Ireland)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Ireland v Argentina
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
ARs: Marius Mitrea (Italy) & Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

England v Samoa
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
ARs: Nigel Owens (Wales) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

France v Japan (in Nanterre, France)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
ARs: George Clancy (Ireland) & Joy Neville (Ireland)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)

Germany v Chile
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
ARs: Gwyn Morris (Wales) & Aled Evans (Wales)

Romania v Tonga 
Referee: Tom Foley (England)
ARs: Ian Davies (Wales) & Shota Tevzadze (Georgia)
TMO: Stefano Pennè (Italy)

Fiji v Canada (in Narbonne, France)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
ARs: Shuhei Kubo (Japan) & Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Georgia v USA
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
ARs: Adam Leal (England) & Jonathan Healy (England)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Namibia v Uruguay
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
ARs: Egon Seconds (South Africa) & Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)

Spain v Brazil
Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
ARs: Kieran Barry (Ireland) & Ken Imbusch (Ireland)



England v Canada
Referee: Tim Baker (Hong Kong)
ARs: Laura Pettingale (England) & Sarah Toll (England)
TMO: David Sainsbury (England)

PRO14, Round 9

Ulster v Benetton Treviso
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
ARs: Leo Colgan (Ireland) & Shane Kierans (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Leinster v Newport Gwent Dragons
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
ARs: Dunx McClement (Scotland) & Bob Nevins (Scotland)
TMO: Andrew Cymene (Scotland)

Cheetahs v Edinburgh
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
ARs: Archie Sehlako (South Africa) & Jaco Coetzee (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Cardiff Blues v Connacht
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
ARs: Simon Rees (Wales) & Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
ARs: Gareth John (Wales) & Elgan Williams (Wales)

Zebre v Munster
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
ARs: Keith Allen (Scotland) & Vincenzo Schipani
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

Southern Kings v Scarlets
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
ARs: Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa) & Rodney Boneparte (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Aviva Premiership

Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester
Referee: JP Doyle
ARs: Tim Wigglesworth & Peter Allan
TMO: Claire Hodnett

Bath v Harlequins
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
ARs: Andrew Jackson & Philip Watters
TMO: David Rose

Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors
Referee: Greg Macdonald
ARs: Jack Makepeace & Simon McConnell
TMO: Keith Lewis

Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints
Referee: Karl Dickson
ARs: John Meredith & Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher

London Irish v Wasps
Referee: Christophe Ridley
ARs: Hamish Smales & Nigel Carrick
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs
Referee: Ian Tempest
ARs: Anthony Woodthorpe & Roy Maybank
TMO: David Sainsbury

France – Top 14, Round 11

Castres v Toulon
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
ARs: Laurent Cardona & Jean-Claude Labarbe
TMO: Éric Gonthier

La Rochelle v Pau
Referee: Maxime Chalon
ARs: Pierre-Baptiste Nuchy & Arnaud Blondel
TMO: Éric Briquet Campin

Bordeaux-Bègles v Brive
Referee: Cédric Marchat
ARs: Nicolas Datas & Patrick Pechambert
TMO: Mourad Zitouni

Oyonnax v Clermont
Referee: Sébastien Minery
ARs: Tual Trainini & Éric Soulan
TMO: Patrick Dellac

Racing 92 v Montpellier
Referee: Cyril Lafon
ARs: Julien Castaignède & Jean-Luc Rebollal
TMO: Denis Grenouillet

Lyon v Toulouse
Referee: Ludovic Cayre
ARs: Mathieu Noirot & Frédéric Chazal
TMO: Laurent Sclafer