Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae has named 3 new caps in his 12-man squad to compete in the opening leg of the 2015 / 2016 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, in Dubai (Friday 4 & Saturday 5 December).
The squad, which will travel to South Africa for the 2nd leg of the Series following proceedings in Dubai, will include Edinburgh’s Magnus Bradbury; his capital club-mate Nick McLennan; and Scotland Under 20 wing Robbie Nairn.
MacRae said: “The extended Sevens off season, due to the Rugby World Cup, has afforded us time to develop aspects of our play and make gains in our strength and conditioning. The players application has been excellent throughout.
“The mindset has been to improve and build on last years performances, not rest on them. In addition to the core squad members, we have also targeted developing young, Scottish talent who have a lot of potential and a big future ahead in both the abbreviated game and in the 15-a-side set-up.
“The exposure they will have to the international stage, will hopefully provide the platform they need to continue their development and progression in the game, as it has with so many players previously.”
Springboks Francois Hougaard and Juan de Jongh were on Wednesday named in a strong Springbok Sevens (Blitzbokke) 12-man squad for the 1st 2 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments of the new season, in Dubai and Cape Town.
The season kicks off on 4 & 5 December with the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, which is followed a week later by the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens, on 12 & 13 December, at the Cape Town Stadium.
Hougaard has played in 35 Tests for the Springboks and recently joined the Sevens squad on a 1-year contract. He is set to make his World Series debut in Dubai, while DHL Western Province centre and skipper, Juan de Jongh (14 Tests), return to the Springbok Sevens fold for the 1st time since making his 1st and only appearance for the side in Wellington in 2008.
Werner Kok, the newly-crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province) and last season’s top-try scorer on the World Series circuit, Seabelo Senatla, will combine with regular stalwarts Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld and Rayno Benjamin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) to form a potent Blitzbokke backline attack.
The tough-tackling Benjamin is set to make his 30th World Series appearance while skipper Kyle Brown is on course to play in his landmark 50th tournament in his hometown of Cape Town.
The durable Brown, Philip Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Chris Dry will provide the necessary steel upfront and complete a strong selection who will defend their crown in Dubai. The Springbok Sevens are also the current tournament champions in South Africa.
Allister Coetzee looks set to be named the new Springbok coach in December.
It has reliably been learnt that Heyneke Meyer has lost the support of the majority of South Africa’s provincial unions and will be replaced at the General Council meeting of the South African Rugby Union on 11 December.
SARU has already postponed their General Council meeting by a week, to 11 December. It will be preceeded by a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
Current team manager Ian Schwartz, who is employed as a permanent staff member of SARU, has apparently flown to Japan to speak to former Springbok Assistant Coach and DHL Stormers Head Coach, Allister Coetzee, to take over the national team.
Coetzee has an exit clause in his contract with Kobelco Steelers – the club he coaches in the Japanese Top League.
Former Springbok wing James Small says Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann deserves to be considered for the Springbok head coaching role.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) is set for its next General Council meeting on 11 December and it is at this meeting that the fate of under-fire Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be decided.
The latest mumblings are that Meyer could be offered a 1-year contract extension, but the possibility of Meyer being axed also exists.
India and South Africa battle each other in the 3rd 5-Day Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India, and theTest is scheduled to run from 25 to 29 November 2015.
India won the toss and elected to bat first.
India were on 48 / 0 at morning Drinks and at 85 / 2 at Lunch on Day 1, At afternoon Drinks they had stumbled to 121 / 5 and at Tea on Day 1 they were on 149 / 6.
India were eventually ALL OUT for 215, with a few overs spare in Day 1.
South Africa lost their 1st wicket with only 4 runs in the bag and then lost the 2nd wicket with only 9 runs on the board.
South Africa finished Day 1 at 11 / 2, after 9 overs, still trailing by 204 runs and with 8 wickets remaining in their 1st innings.
- 1st Innings: 215 ALL OUT (78.2 Overs)
- 2nd Innings:
- 1st Innings: 11 / 2 (9 Overs)
- 2nd Innings:
Glasgow Warriors lock Leone Nakarawa was celebrating last night after picking up 2 awards at the Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Awards.
The Fijian international won the Pacific Island Players Association (PIPA) 2015 Fijian Players’ Player of the Year Award as well as the overall Digicel Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Award.
The 27-year-old was a stand-out performer for Fiji during the recent 2015 Rugby World Cup, rated by many onlookers and commentators as 1 of the best players of the tournament.
Named in tournament sponsors’ Société Générale’s dream team, Nakarawa scored a try in Fiji’s 47 / 15 victory over Uruguay, as well as appearing in all 10 of Fiji’s Test matches throughout the year.
Prior to the tournament, the 6ft 6″ lock had been named the Man Of The Match for Glasgow’s Pro12 2015 Grand Final in Belfast, as Warriors defeated Munster 31 / 13.
Nakarawa, who joined Glasgow from Saracens in August 2013, has made 46 appearances for Glasgow, scoring 10 points in the process.
Eddie Jones will most likely not be coming back to Cape Town to assist the DHL Stormers in their pre-season preparation work, but he will be in Los Angelos this week.
Newly appointed England coach Jones will be addressing a World Rugby workshop on the success of the Japan team at the Rugby World Cup, who won 3 games despite failing to make the play-offs under his guidance.
Jones was unveiled as the new DHL Stormers coach earlier this month, before being made an offer he could not refuse by the English RFU which saw him leave Cape Town after just 2 weeks.
Stormers director of rugby, Gert Smal, claimed that Jones would return to Cape Town in December to assist with the planning for next season, explaining that the experienced coach felt bad for the way things had transpired with the Stormers.
The Springbok Sevens team (Blitzbokke) scooped the Team of Year Award at the annual SA Sports Awards in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The SA Sports Awards is annually hosted by the Department of Sport and Recreation of South Africa, recognising SA sports individuals and teams for their outstanding sporting contributions on and off the field.
Springbok Sevens pipped the South African Test Cricket team and the SA Lightweight Women’s Rowing team to claim the prestigious award.
Sunday evening’s accolade capped a successful 2014 / 2015 season for the Blitzbokke team. They were the 1st team to qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and finished 2nd to Fiji on the final standings of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.
The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.
Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).
The South African Springboks have been stung by the loss of 2 key Sponsors, namely ABSA Bank and BMW!
The Springboks are set to lose their jersey sponsor after ABSA Bank decided not to renew its contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
According to the Sunday Times, the slow pace of transformation is one of the reasons for the decision.
Barbarians (12) 31 / 49 (28) Los Pumas (Final Score)
The Barbarians and the Argentinaian Los Pumas did battle in a Barbarians Rugby 125th aniversary celebration match at
Twickenham Stadium, London at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 UK Time & GMT, 12:05 Arg Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
The world’s most famous invitation club, the Barbarians, will aim to entertain when they celebrate their 125th year of existence.
The BaaBaas will host a strong Argentinean Los Pumas team at Twickenham on Saturday.
However, coach Michael Cheika’s message to his Barbarians team was simple.
“Keep it simple, have a go and back yourselves,” Cheika told the BaaBaas players.
Argentina have a slightly different focus.
Having finished 3rd in The Rugby Championship – the 1st time hey did not finish last – and 4th in the Rugby World Cup, they hope to finish their year on a winning note.
Wing Santiago Cordero, 1 of the sensations for the Pumas at the Rugby World up, said it is going to be a “pretty tough” game.
It’s official, DHL Stormers head coach for an ever so brief spell, Eddie Jones (which included no games and lasted only from 1 November to 18 November 2015, after being introduced to the SA Media on 12 November) is now the new England head coach!
The RFU have revealed that they have appointed Eddie Jones on a 4-year contract, starting in December 2015 and he will take charge of his 1st international game with England when they meet Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at Murrayfield on 6 February 2016.
The amount the RFU had to pay to Western Province for Eddie Jones’ release is still the subject of wild speculation and varies between rumours of £ 100 000.00 (R 2.1 Million) to £ 350 000.00 ( R 7.5 Million) and even up to £ 700 000.00 (R 15 Million).
Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) have issued the following media release:
WPRFU President Mr Thelo Wakefield and WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal will host a top table press conference at DHL NEWLANDS on Friday 20 November at 11:00 SA Time.
Western Province Rugby has agreed terms with the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) which will see Eddie Jones depart to take on an international coaching post with England.
There has been plenty of speculation about Jones’s future ever since his arrival in Cape Town earlier this month and he officially received an offer on Wednesday of this week which proved impossible to turn down.
Richie McCaw has confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby.
The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the 2nd time.
McCaw announced his decision at a media conference at the New Zealand Rugby offices in Wellington on Thursday.
“I’m hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game. Knowing that I was able to end my career by helping the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup Final is a hugely satisfying feeling,” he said.
UK bookmakers have stopped taking bets on newly appointed DHL Stormers coach Eddie Jones replacing fired Stuart Lancaster as supremo of the England rugby team. They are so convinced Jones will leave Newlands for Twickenham that betting on him doing so has been suspended.
But the Australian who guided Japan to rugby’s great giant killing act over the Springboks won’t come cheap. In the Times of London this morning, SA billionaire Johann Rupert says extracting Jones from his contract with the DHL Stormers will cost the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) R 15 Million (£ 700 000.00).
Richemont chairman Rupert, co-owner of the DHL Stormers through the 25% owned by 1 of his businesses, told the newspaper: “We have no influence” and confirmed the Cape-based franchise would not engage in a bidding war over the recently hired head coach.
In September, Eddie Jones signed a R 5 Million a year deal with the DHL Stormers which runs until the end of 2018. That made him the highest paid coach in South African rugby, ahead of Heyneke Meyer who guided the Springboks to 3rd in the recent Rugby World Cup.
The South African Rugby Union extended its condolences to the family of legendary Springbok centre John Gainsford, who passed away on Wednesday morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 77.
Gainsford established himself as one of the greatest centres of his generation due to his powerful bursts and rock-solid defence.
He earned 33 Test caps and scored 8 tries during his Springbok career between 1960 and 1967, playing in 71 Springbok matches in total (including tour matches). He remained the most capped Springbok centre until as recently as 2001 when his record was finally overtaken by Japie Mulder.
Gainsford was a world-renowned player, who emerged from the Villagers Rugby Club in Cape Town. He made his Springbok debut on 30 April 1960 against Scotland at the young age of 21 and played his last Test at the age of 28.
New Zealand rugby union great Jonah Lomu has died aged 40.
Lomu, who scored 43 tries in 73 matches for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002, had been diagnosed with a rare and serious kidney condition.
It forced him to quit the game and he had a kidney transplant in 2004, but the organ stopped functioning in 2011.
“Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world,” said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.
“We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”
Family spokesman John Mayhew told New Zealand television that Lomu’s death was “totally unexpected” and that he had only arrived back from the UK on Tuesday, after spending time there for the Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said: “The thoughts of the entire country are with his family.”
Victor Matfield says his all-Southern Hemisphere Barbarians side is braced for Saturday’s clash with Argentina after his team swept aside English Premiership side Gloucester 62 / 14.
The BaaBaas’ backline was well directed by Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie, who collected a 13-point haul in the 10-try win.
“Getting this game under our belts will definitely help us going into Saturday,” said Matfield, whose side played attacking rugby despite strong winds – reaching up to 88km/h.
“Conditions weren’t too easy but the boys played well and the Gloucester boys gave it their best shot too.”
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has extended his contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) through to 2017, NZRU chief executive Steve Tew announced on Tuesday.
Foster has been assistant coach alongside All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen since 2012.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to have worked for the All Blacks over the last few years and to help the team achieve its goals, including winning the Rugby World Cup, and I look forward to getting stuck into next season after the summer break,” Foster said.
Steve Tew paid tribute to Foster’s work with the national team, which has fashioned a stunning record of 49 wins, 2 draws and just 3 losses, in their 54 Tests since 2012.
“Ian has provided outstanding coaching of the All Blacks over the last 4 years. He has a calm yet forthright style which works well in the team and his strategic thinking and development of the All Blacks’ back play, which is his specialist area, has been exceptional. We look forward to his ongoing contribution over the next 2 years.”
Tew confirmed that All Blacks forwards coach Mike Cron had also re-signed with NZRU through until 2017.
Australian Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insisted Monday he had no interest in taking over the vacant England position, as he joined a growing list of high-profile figures in ruling himself out as a successor to Stuart Lancaster.
Last week saw Lancaster quit as England coach, as he paid the price for a poor Rugby World Cup, which saw England become the 1st host nation to fail to get out of the group phase.
“No one from there (England’s governing Rugby Football Union) has contacted me and they know they can’t contact me because I am committed to Australia,” Cheika, who led the Wallabies to last month’s Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium, said.
“That’s where I want to be coaching.”
The Australian mens Sevens team as well as the Kenyan mens Sevens teams both qualified on the weekend for the Olympics Sevens event in Rio in 2016.
On the womens side, Fiji Womens Sevens also qualified for the womens event at Rio 2016.
The Springbok Sevens (Blitzbokke) were drawn with Scotland, Samoa and newly-promoted core team Russia for the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on 4 & 5 December.
According to the draw announced by World Rugby last Friday, South Africa are the Top-seeds in Pool B for the opening Round of the bigger HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Blitzbokke are the defending Dubai champions.
With global excitement building ahead of Sevens’ biggest season, the world’s top players – representing 28 national teams – will compete in Dubai from 3 to 5 December. The 12-team women’s tournament will be played on 3 & 4 December and the 16-team men’s event on 4 & 5 December.
In the men’s competition, reigning series champions Fiji head Pool A and kick off proceedings against Canada with further ties against Japan and Argentina.
12-Time series champions New Zealand face matches against USA, as well as France and Portugal in Pool C, while in Pool D England will compete against Australia, Wales and Kenya.
The South Africans start their Dubai campaign against powerful Samoa. They then face Russia in the mid-afternoon, before tackling Scotland later in the evening on the opening day.
Double Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw is expected to confirm his decision to retire from rugby this week, New Zealand media reported on Sunday.
McCaw, who turns 35 on 31 December, led the All Blacks to their 3rd Rugby World Cup triumph 2 weeks ago when his side beat trans-Tasman rivals Australia 34 / 17 in the final at a packed Twickenham stadium in London.
The All Blacks were the 1st team to retain the trophy, after the openside flanker led the team to victory in 2011 while playing with a broken foot.
McCaw had done little to dampen expectations that he would retire after this year’s Rugby World Cup, though never explicitly said he would, preferring to state he would not make up his mind until the global showpiece ended.
He was not named last month in the Canterbury Super Rugby squad for 2016 though New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Crusaders said there was space for him if he chose to play on.
The Hong Kong Cup of Nations is a 15-a-side rugby tournament which features 4 national sides – Hong Kong, Portugal, Russia and Zimbabwe. There are 6 Test matches in total with fixtures on 13, 17 and 21 November 2015. The round-robin competition replaces the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union’s (HKRFU) November international Test series. All Cup of Nations matches were scheduled to be played at Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) and admission is free.
This year’s competition has been dominated by the hosts, Hong Kong, and Russia who have both won their 1st 2 games of the tournament. Portugal look to be the 3rd best team losing by 11 points in their opening match to Russia while only losing by 7 against Hong Kong, gaining their losing bonus point which sees them in 3rd place on the table. Zimbabwe have struggled and suffered the biggest loss (by 45 points) today against Russia.
The Ireland Women are back in action for the 1st time since regaining the Six Nations title in March, as Tom Tierney’s new-look side take on England at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 SA Time).
The Ireland Women’s team to play England in an historic 1st November international has been named. There are 6 uncapped players included in Tom Tierney’s starting line-up.
New caps Jeamie Deacon of Blackrock and Mairead Coyne from Galwegians have been named on the wings with team captain Niamh Briggs at fullback.
Cill Dara’s Aine Donnelly will win her 1st cap in the centre alongside the experienced Jackie Shiels, with Coyne’s club-mate Sene Naoupu donning the No 10 jersey for the 1st time alongside regular scrumhalf Larissa Muldoon.
World Rugby Council has approved the application by the Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) as a full member union, bringing the total number to 103 full members and 17 associates.
The RRF became an associate member of World Rugby in April 2004 and is a full member of Rugby Africa, the regional association. The union actively partakes in regional activities and participates in a range of Rugby Africa tournaments. It is recognised by its National Olympic Committee and fulfils World Rugby’s full membership criteria.
The RRF runs a national 15-a-side team and, in total, has 10 teams participating in a domestic 15-a-side league with more than 300 registered adult male players, 60 adult female players and nearly 7 000 youth players. The union is a structured organisation, administered by a full-time CEO and a number of volunteers.
The application was supported by the World Rugby Executive Committee, Rugby Africa and World Rugby’s Rugby Services Manager (Africa).
Twelve teams will battle it out for a place at the 2016 Olympic Games when they take part in this weekend’s Africa Regional Olympic qualifier in Johannesburg.
On 14 & 15 November, Johannesburg will host the 12 best African teams of Sevens rugby at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.
Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Morocco, Tunisia, Zambia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Botswana, Nigeria and Mauritius will fight over 2 days of tournament to try to win the 1 and only golden ticket for Rio 2016!
The 3 other teams on the podium will have the opportunity to participate in the repechage, an international competition which will enable 1 single team to join the others.
Australia will embark on their 10th ‘Grand Slam’ tour in 2016, aiming to beat the Home Nations in 1 trip for the 1st time in 30 years.
After falling to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium in London earlier this month, the Wallabies will return to the northern hemisphere next year for a 7-match, 5-Test tour, including France.
“The ‘Grand Slam’ is 1 of the rarest achievements in the game and has been a notoriously difficult one for the Wallabies over time, with only 1 successful attempt out of 9,” Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said.
The last time the Wallabies pulled off the feat was in 1984. In their most recent attempt, in 2013, Australia opened with a loss to England before defeating Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as Italy.
Jake White insists he won’t take part in another drawn out application process for the vacant England head coach role.
White, who coached South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, is 1 of the leading candidates to replace Stuart Lancaster after he parted ways with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in the aftermath of England’s dismal Rugby World Cup campaign.
But the 52-year-old South African has twice been snubbed at the final hurdle by the RFU, when Martin Johnson took control in 2008 and when Lancaster was handed the reins in 2012.
Determined not to be messed around for a 3rd time, White has called on RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie to install him as the organisation’s Top choice before he will consider succeeding Lancaster, who was widely criticised for his lack of Top-level experience during England’s Rugby World Cup pool stage exit.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw will make an announcement on his playing future “shortly”.
McCaw, who led New Zealand to victory at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, indicated he would likely retire after this year’s tournament in England but is yet to make a definitive announcement.
His comments immediately after the All Blacks’ Cup final win over Australia suggested the 148-Test veteran might be considering continuing his international career.
New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said it was premature to speculate about Japan joining The Rugby Championship.
The sport is currently on a high in the Asian nation after the Brave Blossoms’ exploits at the Rugby World Cup, which included a stunning 34 / 32 win over South Africa, but there are already concerns about its preparations for the expanded Super Rugby competition next year.
With Japan set to host the next edition of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, World Rugby is keen to consolidate its popularity in a large and potentially lucrative market.
The governing body’s chairman Bernard Lapasset said on a trip to Tokyo this week that Japan should join The Rugby Championship, which currently comprises New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.
But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said a more immediate concern for Japanese rugby was fielding a competitive side in the Super Rugby competition in 2016.
When he took to the field as Scotland cap number 1 073, Josh Strauss became the 50th player to make his debut for the national side since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011. This is by far the highest number of new players for Scotland in any Rugby World Cup cycle – more, in fact, than the previous 2 combined (48 new caps). It requires going back to the 1950s to find a greater number of 1st caps in a 4 year period.
Despite having the smallest player base of any of the Six Nations, Scotland has had more debutants than any of their rivals:
- England – 41
- France – 40
- Ireland – 37
- Italy – 31
- Wales – 37
In fact only 1 side who competed at this year’s Rugby World Cup awarded more new caps in the last 4 years. By a quirk of the global calendar Argentina didn’t have access to many of their 1st (or even 2nd) choice players when the South American Championship takes place and 54 of their 67 new caps (including 24 in the space of 5 days in 2013, the last year they appeared in it!) debuted in the annual iterations of this tournament.
Former Springbok coach Jake White has again signalled interest in the England head coaching position.
Stuart Lancaster on Wednesday stepped down as England coach after a torrid Rugby World Cup which saw the hosts knocked out of the tournament at the pool stages after defeats to Wales and Australia.
Bookmakers have made White favourite to replace Lancaster and when asked whether he would be interested, the South African said:
“If they genuinely think a foreign coach is the right way forward and it is genuine they think it is me, it would be naive of me to say I was not interested.”
England Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said that England were determined to appoint a coach of “proven international experience”.
The search for this new coach – to replace Stuart Lancaster – will continue, however long it takes.
England’s dismal Rugby World Cup campaign set the seal on Lancaster’s 3-and-a-half years in charge, with the RFU announcing earlier on Wednesday he had left his post by “mutual consent”.
Under Lancaster – who had little prior elite rugby experience – England became the 1st host nation to fail to get out of the group phase at the recent Rugby World Cup.
RFU Chief Executive Ritchie said the decision to replace Lancaster had been “unanimously accepted” by the governing body’s board.
England’s next match is their Six Nations opener away to Scotland on 6 February, with the squad due to be announced in January.
World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the RBS 6 Nations 2016, which gets underway in February.
Appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee at its recent meeting in London and follow a detailed review of all performances during Rugby World Cup 2015.
The championship opener between France and Italy on Saturday 6 February in Paris will be refereed by JP Doyle of England with Welshman Nigel Owens taking charge of the last match, on Saturday 19 March between France and England at the same venue.
3 Referees – Jaco Peyper of South Africa, Glen Jackson of New Zealand and France’s Romain Poite – have received 2 appointments each with a total of 12 referees involved. Australian Angus Gardner will make his championship debut when he takes charge of the Ireland vs Italy match in Dublin on 12 March. The 31-year-old from Sydney, who was an Assistant Referee at Rugby World Cup 2015, refereed his 1st full international in 2011 and already has 5 Tests under his belt.
From the Rugby World Cup panel, Gardner replaces New Zealander Chris Pollock, whose retirement from international refereeing was announced earlier this week by New Zealand Rugby. In total, Pollock took charge of 22 Tests throughout his career.
As usual, the appointments for the 15 championship fixtures feature a blend of northern and southern hemisphere Match Officials. Several of the Assistant Referees being used for this year’s Six Nations are graduates of the 2013 and 2014 Rugby World Rugby Under 20 Championship.