Four NZ referees selected for 2015 Six Nations

Getty Images     11 Dec 2014     Getty Images

New Zealand's referees are well represented, with Glen Jackson, Chris Pollock, Mike Fraser and Ben Skeen among the postings.

This comes after local referee Jessica Beard was appointed two matches in the 2015 Women's Six Nations.

Appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting in Dublin last week and follow a detailed review of recent performances during the November internationals.

The championship opener between Wales and England on Friday, 6 February in Cardiff will be refereed by Jérôme Garcès, one of two appointments for the Frenchman. Australia’s Steve Walsh – who has also received two fixtures – will take charge of the final match on 21 March as England take on France at Twickenham.

The appointments for the 15 championship fixtures feature a blend of northern and southern hemisphere match officials selected on form. Click here for the full list.

With Rugby World Cup 2015 rapidly approaching, time is running out for the world’s top match officials to stake their claim for inclusion in the panel for the game’s pinnacle tournament.

World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said: “With an eye on Rugby World Cup 2015, our focus continues to be clear and consistent decision-making and the highest standards of physical conditioning. Selection for RWC will be made shortly after the Six Nations so these will be important opportunities for the referees, ARs and TMOs.

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.

The World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by John Jeffrey, comprises former elite referees Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Andrew Cole (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (European Rugby Champions Cup), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and World Rugby High Performance Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge. The committee meets four times a year and makes selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed in advance of selection.

“Congratulations Glen Jackson, Chris Pollock, Mike Fraser and Ben Skeen," Rod Hill, New Zealand Rugby's high performance referee manager said.

"It’s fantastic to see that our high performance referees are being recognised on the international stage with these appointments.

“These referees have had a busy year with international and domestic duties – and these appointments come at a great time as World Rugby looks to eyeing up whistle talent for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

“Our referees have a great reputation internationally as hard workers, professional at all times, and thoroughly committed to playing their part in the game. I wish them well for their northern hemisphere duties.”