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.
Ireland and Leinster backrow Shane Jennings will miss the Ireland squad preseason camp in Spala, Poland as he has been ruled out of full training for the next 5 - 6 weeks. Jennings has a small fracture in his right thumb and will undergo surgery tomorrow.
Jennings picked up the injury in the second test against Argentina during Ireland's summer tour and had an x-ray and an MRI scan of the thumb on his return to Dublin. The x-ray was clear and the scan merely showed a small amount of bony bruising with no break.
Upon return to preseason training, the thumb injury flared up again and a repeat scan revealed a small fracture. This requires surgery to fix the fragment of bone. Following the operation, the thumb will be put in a cast for the duration of recovery and will limit Jennings' participation in the Ireland preseason conditioning programme.
Jennings will also be ruled out of the Rugby World Cup warm up game against Scotlandon August 11th.