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Six Nations referee appointments see Barnes edge towards a century

By Paul Smith
Wayne Barnes

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Wayne Barnes edges a step closer to his 100th international refereeing appearance when he takes charge of Ireland’s clash with Scotland during the final round of 2022 Six Nations action.

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The veteran English whistler’s 98th cap is his only appearance in a competition which sees Jaco Peyper take charge of the opening and closing games.

The experienced South African official gets the competition underway when Ireland host Scotland in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday February 5.

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And he is also the man in the middle at the Stade de France seven weeks later when pre-tournament favourites France face England on the final clash of Super Saturday.

The referee appointments to the competition’s early stages have a strongly Southern Hemisphere flavour with five of the first six matches being controlled by SANZAR based officials.

Remarkably, the entirety of the competition’s second round is being controlled by Australian referees with another familiar face – Angus Gardner – at the helm of the potentially pivotal clash between Ireland and France in Dublin.

Damon Murphy makes his Six Nations debut when England visit Rome, but on the day that Rassie Erasmus’ returns to work it is the appointment of Nic Berry – the subject of the Springboks coach’s lengthy video critique following the first Lions test – to Wales v Scotland that catches the eye.

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Scotland’s Mike Adamson who takes charge of France v Italy is the sole Northern Hemisphere representative during the first two rounds of action and the former Scotland Sevens star is also handed a second opportunity to impress with the whistle when Wales visit Twickenham in round three.

Georgian official Nika Amashukeli’s strong displays during the Autumn Series are rewarded with a first Six Nations appointment when Ireland host Italy in round three while former Harlequins scrum half Karl Dickson takes charge of Scotland v France.

The closing two rounds of action will be whistled by five Northern Hemisphere officials prior to Peyper’s reappearance in Paris.

Round four sees English Premiership refereeing big guns Luke Pearce and Matthew Carley respectively take charge of Italy v Scotland and Wales v France while another potentially crucial encounter – England v Ireland – is entrusted to France’s Mathieu Raynal, who also refereed the third Lions test last summer.

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Commenting on the appointments, Chairman of the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Graham Mourie said: “The 2022 Guinness Six Nations represents an important milestone for our match officials on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

“Being able to select from the largest pool of match officials since the last Rugby World Cup is exciting and also means that we will be able to optimise preparation on the ground prior to and during the Championship.”

Round One:

Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium Dublin, Saturday 5 February
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Angus Gardner (RA)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (RFU)

Scotland v England, BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, Saturday 5 February
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

France v Italy, Stade de France Paris, Sunday 6 February
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nika Amashukeli (GRU)
Assistant Referee 2: Damon Murphy (RA)
TMO: Brett Cronan (RA)

Round Two:

Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium Cardiff, Saturday 12 February
Referee: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Brett Cronan (RA)

France v Ireland, Stade de France Paris, Saturday 12 February
Referee: Angus Gardner (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico Rome, Sunday 13 February
Referee: Damon Murphy (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 2: tbc
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

Round Three:

Scotland v France
BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, Saturday 26 February
Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)

England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium London, Saturday 26 February
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium Dublin, Sunday 27 February
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (GRU)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR)

Round Four:

Wales v France, Principality Stadium Cardiff, Friday 11 March
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)

Italy v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico Rome, Saturday 12 March
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (RFU)

England v Ireland, Twickenham Stadium London, Saturday 12 March
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 2: Pierre Brousset (FFR)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)

Round Five:

Wales v Italy, Principality Stadium Cardiff, Saturday 19 March
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Tual Trainini (FFR)
TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium Dublin, Saturday 19 March
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (RFU)

France v England, Stade de France Paris, Saturday 19 March
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)

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