World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the men’s Six Nations 2020 as the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 begins in earnest for the world’s top referees.
The selection, the first since Rugby World Cup 2019, features 20 of the 21 match officials involved in Japan.
With Jerôme Garcès having announced his international retirement, Ireland's Andrew Brace makes his Six Nations refereeing debut, while Matthew Carley (England) returns as a referee. Both were assistant referees at Japan 2019.
Mike Adamson (Scotland), Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Frank Murphy (Ireland) and Ben Whitehouse (Wales) return to the squad as assistant referees, while James Leckie (Australia), Glenn Newman (New Zealand) and Brian MacNeice (Ireland) are included in an expanded Television Match Official (TMO) panel after Ben Skeen announced his retirement.
Nigel Owens (Wales) will make his 98th test appearance when he referees France v England at Stade de France the next day, while World Rugby Referee Award recipient Wayne Barnes (England) will take charge of France versus Ireland at the same venue on 14 March, his 90th test as a referee.
Wales v Italy, Cardiff, 2.15 (Luke Pearce, Eng); Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 4.45 (Mathieu Raynal, France), Sun Feb 2: France v England, Stade de France, 3pm (Nigel Owens, Wales).
Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, 2.15 (Romain Poite, France), Scotland v England, Murrayfield, 4.45 (Pascal Gauzere, France), Sun Feb 9: France v Italy, Stade de France, 3pm (Andrew Brace, Ireland).
Italy v Scotland, Rome, 2.15 (Ben O'Keeffe, NZ), Wales v France, Cardiff, 4.45pm (Matthew Carley, England): Sun Feb 23: England v Ireland, Twickenham, 3pm (Jaco Peyper, SA).
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, 2.15 (Nic Berry, Aus), England v Wales, Twickenham, 4.45 (Ben O'Keeffe, NZ); Sun Mar 8: Scotland v France, Murrayfield, 3pm (Paul Williams, NZ).
Wales v Scotland, Cardiff, 2.15 (Angus Gardner, Aus), Italy v England, Rome, 4.45pm (Pascal Gauzere, France), France v Ireland, Stade de France, 8pm (Wayne Barnes, Eng).