World Rugby has announced the Emirates match officials for the Guinness Six Nations 2022, which kicks off on 5 February.
While the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge logistics, it has been possible to select from the widest available group since 2019, with almost all top match officials able to travel.
As a result, 13 referees representing eight unions will take charge of the Championship’s 15 matches.
- Georgia’s Nika Amashukeli is one of three Six Nations referee debutants, and is the first Georgian to take charge of a Championship game after refereeing Ireland v Japan in November
- Australia’s Damon Murphy and England’s Karl Dickson are the other Six Nations referee debutants
- Australia’s Angus Gardner and Nic Berry referee first Six Nations matches since 2019, while South Africa’s Jaco Peyper and New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe take charge of first Championship matches since 2020 as travel restrictions ease
- Peyper and Scotland’s Mike Adamson are the only referees to have two matches each with Peyper taking charge of the opening and final matches of the Championship
- England’s Wayne Barnes edges closer to a century of international referee appointments, taking charge of Ireland versus Scotland, his 98th test in his 16th Championship
- Assistant referees Pierre Brousset, Tual Trainini (both France) and Chris Busby (Ireland) make their Championship debut
- Television Match Officials Stuart Terheege (England), Ben Whitehouse (Wales) and Brett Cronan (Australia) will also make their Championship debut in the role
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. I would like to extend my congratulations to Nika, Damon and Karl, who will be refereeing their first Six Nations matches, and wish all the best to all the match officials selected for the Championship.”
The appointments for the Women’s and U20 Six Nations will be made in due course.