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.
And here's a stat that might surprise. The leading ball carrier was Welsh centre Iestyn Harris even though the Welsh were only in possession for a little over 25 minutes of the recorded 88 minutes played.
All this information comes courtesy of Computacenter, the offiicial supplier of statistics to the 2002 Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship who produce these fascinating figures within minutes of the final whistle. They can tell us for example that Wales completed 113 passes while Ireland could only manage 110 and Wales made 104 tackles while the Irish only had to make 88.
But there are some things that do confuse. For example, according to the figures, Ireland won 16 lineouts and lost 4 (= 20); Wales won 11 and lost 7 (=18) so presumably the other two were a draw. And the scrums the same, Ireland won 6 lost 1 (7), Wales won 9, lost 0. s So where the lads for the other two scrums.
Or how about this. Wales won Set Piece Ball 27 times, made up naturally (see figures above please) of lineout and scrum. Ireland won Set Piece Ball 36 times. Remember, they won 6 scrums, lost 1, won 16 lineouts, lost 4. Oh dear, that's only 27 set pieces.
But here's the really eerie one.
Of the 46 minutes and 30 seconds of the opening half, Ireland spent 32 minutes in their opponents half. Wales spent 12 minutes 58 seconds in the Irish half. Where were the two sides for the missing 1 minute 72 seconds.