Referees named for 2018 NatWest 6 Nations

  • England are current reigning 6 Nations champions
  • Wayne Barnes takes charge of two games

World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the NatWest 6 Nations 2018.

England's NatWest 6 Nations opener in Rome against Italy on 4 February will be refereed by Pascal Gauzere from France.

Rugby Football Union referee Wayne Barnes will take charge of France against Italy on 23 February as well as Ireland's match against Scotland on 10 March.

A team of 18 referees/assistant referees and seven TMOs will take charge of the 6 Nations matches, with France’s Pascal Gauzere refereeing the opener between Wales and Scotland at the Principality Stadium on 3 February.

In what is another important preparation stage on the road to Rugby World Cup 2019, the team of referees and assistant referees features a blend of experience and emerging talent following impressive performances during the November window. 

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan said: "Our mission is to reach Rugby World Cup 2019 with the best-possible team of in-form, in-peak physical condition match officials with a proven record of making clear, consistent and accurate decisions in the biggest international fixtures and competitions, including the 6 Nations."

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. Every performance is closely scrutinised and reviewed to ensure accountability. In addition, there is regular consultation with coaches with their feedback helping to inform selection decisions.

Away from the 6 Nations, RFU referee Luke Pearce will take charge of the second leg between Canada and Uruguay on 3 February to determine the Americas 2 place at the Rugby World Cup.

The match official appointments for the Women’s 6 Nations will be announced in due course.