IRFU international referees John Lacey and George Clancy will take charge of matches in the upcoming 2015 RBS 6 Nations, while the first game of Ireland’s title defence – against Italy in Rome – will be refereed by Pascal Gauzere of France.
World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the 2015 RBS 6 Nations, which gets underway in February.
Appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting in Dublin last week and follow a detailed review of recent performances during the November internationals.
John Lacey will be the man in the middle for the England v Italy clash at Twickenham on Saturday, February 14. Two weeks later, his Irish colleague George Clancy will take charge of Scotland v Italy at Murrayfield.
Clancy and fellow IRFU international referee Dudley Phillips will be on assistant referee duty for the Wales v Scotland encounter at Murrayfield on Sunday, February 15. Meanwhile, Ulsterman Simon McDowell has five television match official appointments throughout next year’s Championship.
Regarding Ireland’s matches, French referee Pascal Gauzere has been appointed to the Italy v Ireland round 1 tie in Rome on Saturday, February 7, with England’s Wayne Barnes in charge of Ireland v France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, February 14.
The Ireland v England showdown will be refereed by South Africa’s Craig Joubert on Sunday, March 1, while Australia’s Steve Walsh will have the whistle for Ireland’s visit to Cardiff to face Wales on Saturday, March 14.
In the final round of the Championship, on Saturday, March 21, Ireland’s concluding game against Scotland at Murrayfield will be refereed by France’s Jérôme Garcès.
The appointments for the 15 Championship fixtures feature a blend of northern and southern Hemisphere match officials selected on form. Click here for the full list.
With next year’s Rugby World Cup rapidly approaching, time is running out for the world’s top match officials to stake their claim for inclusion in the panel for the game’s pinnacle tournament.
World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said: “With an eye on Rugby World Cup 2015, our focus continues to be clear and consistent decision-making and the highest standards of physical conditioning. Selection for RWC will be made shortly after the Six Nations so these will be important opportunities for the referees, ARs and TMOs.
“As always, we continue to consult with coaches in making our selection decisions and I would like to thank unions for their full commitment and support of the official feedback channels.”
The selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway.
The World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by Jeffrey, comprises former elite referees Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Andrew Cole (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (European Rugby Champions Cup), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and World Rugby High Performance Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge.
The committee meets four times a year and makes selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed in advance of selection.