June 22, 2024

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France-Ireland refereed by an Englishman, Wales-Scotland by O'Keefe

France-Ireland refereed by an Englishman, Wales-Scotland by O'Keefe

England's Carl Dixon will referee Friday's Six Nations opener between France and Ireland in Marseille. Ben O'Keefe, who is now very famous, will work during Wales – Scotland.

On Friday, the 6-nation tournament kicks off in Marseille, with a match between France and Ireland, the last two winners of the trophy. An England player will be the one to referee this match between two teams who are very disappointed to have exited the quarter-finals of the World Cup (France by one point to South Africa, Ireland by four points to New Zealand). Carl Dixon will work at the Orange Velodrome and will be supported by his compatriot Matthew Carle and Australian Jordan Way, with Welshman Ben Whitehouse supporting him on video.

Carl Dixon, 41, is a former Harlequins scrum-half who became an international referee during the France v Wales match in October 2020. During the last World Cup, he refereed five games: the last 65 minutes of the Wales v Argentina quarter-final after Jaco Peiber was injured, Wales v Portugal, Scotland v Tonga, Fiji v Georgia and France – a 60-7 group stage win. With the Blues, he wasn't talked about, which is always great for a referee.

Two French referees will officiate during the match

This did not sit well with Ben O'Keefe, who refereed the quarter-final between France and South Africa. The New Zealander will referee the Wales-Scotland match on Saturday, the first day of the 6 Nations tournament. World Rugby had the good idea not to give him any French XV matches during the 2024 tournament, given the controversy surrounding his performance during the quarter-finals. After the match against Ireland, they will see Australian Nick Perry on the whistle for the match in Scotland, England's Christoph Ridley for Italy's welcome, England's Luke Pearce for the trip to Wales and finally Australia's Angus Gardner. Conflict against England. Note that two French referees will be officiating during the tournament: Pierre Brusset for Ireland v Italy on 11 February and Mathieu Raynel for Wales v Italy on 16 March.

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