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Emirates World Rugby Match Officials Confirmed For Guinness Six Nations

Joy Neville, Chris Busby, Andrew Brace and Brian MacNeice 22/5/2023

Television match official Joy Neville, assistant referee Chris Busby, referee Andrew Brace and television match official Brian MacNeice are pictured together, earlier in the year, at the Aviva Stadium ©INPHO/Tom Maher

The Emirates World Rugby match officials have been confirmed for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations, the first international competition on the road to the 2027 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Australia.

A total of 15 different referees representing eight nations will take charge of the 15 matches that comprise the Championship, kicking off on Friday, February 2.

Ireland’s Andrew Brace will referee the Calcutta Cup match between Scotland and England in round 3, with Chris Busby as AR1 and Eoghan Cross (pictured below), as AR2, making his Championship debut.

Brian MacNeice will serve as TMO for Scotland’s round 2 clash with France, and Joy Neville will do the same for the final round game between Wales and Italy.

IRFU Head of Referees Dudley Phillips welcomed the announcement, saying: “We’re delighted to see Eoghan make his debut as an assistant referee in the Championship and he joins Andrew, Chris, Brian and Joy who represented Ireland so well during the Rugby World Cup.

“Adding Eoghan to the list is testament to the ongoing work done to help our High Performance referees develop and work at the highest levels of the game.”

Karl Dickson from England is set to referee of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against France in Marseille. France’s Pierre Brousset will referee his first Championship fixture when he takes charge of Ireland v Italy in round 2 at the Aviva Stadium.

Andrea Piardi of Italy will take charge of Ireland’s round 3 encounter with Wales, while Georgia’s Nika Amashukeli will referee the game against England at Twickenham. Ireland’s final round match against Scotland will be refereed by England’s Matthew Carley.

Eoghan Cross 7/10/2023

There are 458 Tests of experience in the middle across a referee team that blends Rugby World Cup experience with three Six Nations debutants in Brousset,  Piardi, and England’s Christophe Ridley.

Eight assistant referees will make their Championship debuts, with Scotland’s Hollie Davidson set to become the first woman to hold the role in the Men’s Six Nations.

With the sport entering a transformative era that will see new competitions start and an expanded 24-team 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia within a reimagined men’s international calendar, the selection reflects ongoing strategic match official development, with the aim of creating greater depth and wider national representation.

World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies said: “As we enter a new four-year Rugby World Cup cycle and ultimately the beginning of a new international calendar that will advance Test rugby, we are focused on collaborating with Unions and competitions to create greater opportunities to identify and develop the next generation of match officiating talent.

This selection reflects that commitment, but while also crucially retaining the experience that underpins the DNA of modern refereeing.

“We are also committed to collaborating more closely with international coaches and players to ensure that we shape the future of officiating together.”

World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge added: “The 2024 Guinness Six Nations marks the start of a new Rugby World Cup cycle and we look forward to working with the group selected. Congratulations to the debutants.”

Interested in becoming a referee? Click here for details from the IRFU Referee Department on how you can get involved.