The International Rugby Board has announced the match official appointments for the RBS Six Nations 2010.

A selection of 13 referees will preside over the 15 matches which comprise the northern hemisphere's premier annual international competition, with Frenchman Romain Poite kick-starting the Championship on Saturday, February 6when defending champions Ireland begin their campaign against Italy at Croke Park.


England's Wayne Barnes and Jonathan Kaplan of South Africa are the only referees to be appointed to two matches, while Alain Rolland, Alan Lewis, George Clancy (all Ireland), Dave Pearson (England), Craig Joubert, Marius Jonker, Mark Lawrence (all South Africa), Christophe Berdos (France), Nigel Owens (Wales) and Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand) will take charge of one match each.

"Romain Poite's appointment to his first Six Nations match, along with the selection of a number of up and coming match officials amongst the Assistant Referee Panel reflects the the IRB's commitment to developing the next generation of international refereeing talent," said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O'Brien.

The appointments were made after a comprehensive review of refereeing performances by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee. The process included self assessment, with referees giving structured feedback on their individual performances.