12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Alan Lewis, who is the most-capped Heineken Cup referee with 65 games to his name, will take charge of the Wales v South Africa clash at the Millennium Stadium in June and follow that up with opening game of the Tri Nations when New Zealand host South Africa in July.
George Clancy and Peter Fitzgibbon have also established themselves on the international circuit in recent seasons and will take charge of a number of games this summer.
Clancy will referee the Pacific Nations Cup match between Fiji and Japan in Fiji on June 12, and also the clash between New Zealand and Wales a week later in Dunedin.
Fitzgibbon, who is also IRFU Leisure Rugby Referee Development Manager, will handle the Australia v Fiji tie in Canberra in early June before heading for the Pacific Nations Cup to take charge of Samoa v Tonga and Fiji v Tonga.
In addition to this, Simon McDowell will be Assistant Referee for three Tri Nations games - South Africa V New Zealand with Alain Rolland, and the back-to-back games between South Africa and Australia in August and September.
Finally, the IRFU Referee Department was delighted with the news that former Shannon and Munster flyer John Lacey has been added to the IRB Assistant Referee Panel, while Tony Redmond has been selected on the IRB Television Match Official (TMO) Panel.
Click here to view the IRB International match appointments (June to September).
Owen Doyle, the IRFU's Director of Referee Development, welcomed the appointments of so many Irish officials.
"We are delighted to see Irish officials being recognised at the pinnacle of the game," he said.
"It is testament to the ground work we do through our Referee Development Officers - David Keane, David McHugh, David O'Brien and David Wilkinson in all four provinces, and to our elite pathway.
"It is particularly pleasing to see John, as a former provincial player, making another step-up in his post playing career."