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.
In 2006, the Ulsterman was appointed to referee the Women's Rugby World Cup final where New Zealand beat England.
Simon is one of the most experienced referees on the circuit and has officiated at AIB League, Magners League and Heineken Cup levels.
Meanwhile, Aoife McCarthy continued her excellent season with the whistle by being appointed to the final of the Women's World Cup Sevens qualifiers.
This follows on from her European final appointment and her refereeing of the Hong Kong Sevens final in March.
Aoife's career has been ground-breaking in Irish rugby. She is Ireland's first female international referee. The IRFU is actively seeking more females to referee and follow in Aoife's footsteps.
There are huge refereeing opportunities in the modern game for females to advance to the top level of the game.
Last year's Under-19 World Championship in Belfast saw Australia's Sarah Corrigan become the first female to be appointed to a male IRB tournament.
The IRFU's new Leisure Rugby Referee Development Officer Peter Fitzgibbon continues to impress at the Junior World Championship where he has been appointed to referee tonight's semi-final between South Africa and England.
Those wishing to watch should tune into Setanta Sports Ireland for kick-off at 9pm.
Interested in refereeing? Click here.