New Zealand referees to feature prominently in Six Nations

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World Rugby selection committee chairman and former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie said heading into a World Cup year, the committee's focus was on refereeing performance and culture as they begin considering selections for the Cup in France later in the year.

Paul Williams will referee the Calcutta Cup game between England and Scotland at Twickenham on February 4. He'll have Ben O'Keeffe and James Doleman as his assistant referees and Brendon Pickerill as the Television Match Official.

It will be Williams' first Six Nations game since 2020 following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

On February 12 at Twickenham, Doleman will make his Six Nations debut when England plays Italy.

O'Keeffe will referee England v France at Twickenham on March 11, and a week later, he will be in Dublin as an assistant referee in the game between Ireland and England.

Pickerill has a second TMO appointment for the Ireland v France game in Dublin on February 11.

Mourie said: "The more time we have with the group, the better it is for everyone, and we constantly challenge ourselves to be better, to achieve alignment and consistency and strengthen understanding within teams.

"As with the November Tests, and the Rugby Championship, the Six Nations represents another opportunity for a talented group of match officials with a superb work ethic to help facilitate more excellent Tests in what is probably the most competitive period in men's rankings history."

Another New Zealand referee, Angus Mabey, will referee two games, England v Scotland (February 3) at The Stoop at Twickenham and Ireland v France (February 10) at Musgrave Park in Cork, in the Six Nations Under-20 competition.


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