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.
New Zealand may be top of the IRB World Rankings, but irishrugby.ie users have Japan out in front when it comes to the battle to stage the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
We asked you in our latest site poll: "Which country should stage the 2011 World Cup?"
Next Thursday, November 17, will see the IRB's council convene in Dublin to decide which of the three competing countries - Japan, New Zealand and South Africa - should host the 2011 World Cup, the seventh such tournament in the history of the game.
The three countries will each make an hour-long presentation each to the council next week before voting begins. The voting countries are England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Australia (all of whom have two votes), Italy, Argentina, Canada, FIRA (the representation of the rest of Europe), CAR (African representation), FORU (Oceania) and ARFU (Asia) - the latter seven have one vote each.
After the first round of voting, the bidding country with the smallest number of votes drops out and can vote in the second round, where the majority will rule.
And Japan, who, if successful, will stage the 2011 final at the 72,000-seater Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, have got the backing of irishrugby.ie users.
The Ireland squad, with Niall O'Donovan in temporary charge, also visited the Land of the Rising Sun last June to gain two Test match wins and had a very favourable impression of Osaka and Tokyo, as well as the transportation and the facilities available for rugby.
Japan gained 62% (1649 votes) to top our latest poll. New Zealand, who staged the inaugural World Cup in 1987, ranked second on 25% (669) and South Africa, the 1995 hosts and winners, secured 12% (341).
Many thanks to the 2659 of you who voted.