10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Congratulations are due to Eanna O'Dowd for his fine job as Ireland's only referee at the 2006 FIRA AER Under-18 European Championship in Treviso, Italy.
O'Dowd, who took up refereeing after a health condition saw his playing career ended at Presentation College, Bray, is one of eleven referees from nine different countries who have been officiating at the tournament, which is running from April 7 to 16.
The 24-year-old refereed Wednesday evening's thrilling Group B game between Spain and Belgium in Valdagno - which ended 10-all and was decided by kicks (5-3) in Spain's favour.
O'Dowd, a well-known official in Leinster Schools, AIB League and Celtic League circles, whistled last Saturday's 30-5 Group C win for Lithuania over Israel in Frassinelle. He also refereed Sunday's 74-5 victory for Austria over Norway in Group D - the Este tie saw the Austrians run in 12 tries.
For more information on refereeing in Ireland click here.