Garces and Gardner to ref biggest 6 Nations matches
DUBLIN (AP) — Jerome Garces and Angus Gardner will referee the most anticipated Six Nations matches after being involved in two of the biggest calls during the November rugby internationals.
Garces will take charge of Ireland-England at Lansdowne Road on Feb. 2 during the championship’s opening weekend.
The French ref last month made the final call on England’s Courtney Lawes being offside when he charged down New Zealand’s TJ Perenara and Sam Underhill sprinted away to score what seemed to be England’s match-winning try at Twickenham. Garces consulted TMO Marius Jonker, ruled out the try, and New Zealand won 16-15.
Jonker will be the TMO for Wales-Ireland at Cardiff on March 16 on the last weekend.
Jonker will be supporting Gardner, the Australian who has control of the potential Six Nations title decider.
Gardner, voted world referee of the year, recently admitted he should have penalized England’s Owen Farrell for the no-arms tackle on South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen at the end of their match at Twickenham. Gardner didn’t sanction Farrell, and South Africa didn’t receive a penalty that Handre Pollard would have fancied kicking between the posts. South Africa lost 12-11.
Among other appointments on Friday, Nigel Owens has England-France, Jaco Peyper has Wales-England, and Paul Williams has England-Scotland.
World Rugby said of the 14 referees from six unions at the Six Nations, 12 will be selected for the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September, along with seven assistant refs and four TMOs.