Six Nations 2024 referees announced: Who will referee England’s matches?

Karl Dickson - Who are the Six Nations 2024 referees?

England head coach Steve Borthwick has spoken about the differences between how Premiership referees and Test-level referees manage rucks and scrums ahead of England’s upcoming Six Nations campaign.

“The nature of the breakdown is refereed differently in international rugby and the nature of the scrum is refereed differently in international rugby,” Borthwick said. “Teams having the opportunity to scrum for penalties is important [but] we’re looking at too many scrums not getting to the contest. I like the scrum contest and I don’t want that to leave our game.

“Sometimes, what we’re doing is taking that contest away a little bit by wanting the ball in and out and if it doesn’t stay up then we’re playing away and we’re not having another scrum. We know Test rugby is not like that. Test rugby, the scrum is a contest, as we found out – while improving – to our cost in the World Cup semi-final.

“The breakdown is a huge contest as well. English referees; the way they referee the Premiership, the speed of ball is high and they want the ball out of that breakdown. The area around the ball is clean in the Premiership because if it’s not, it’s penalised.

“At Test rugby, that’s different. At Test rugby, that area is not as clean as that and the back row becomes one of the biggest notes I review every session, every game, every tournament. When it comes to the breakdown, everyone’s got a responsibility but the back row are key,” he said.

Who are the referees in the 2024 Six Nations?

Karl Dickson will referee next year’s Six Nations opener between France and Ireland in Marseille, one of four English officials to have been handed the whistle for men’s championship fixtures.

Matthew Carley, Luke Pearce and debutant Christophe Ridley will join Dickson in refereeing men’s Six Nations matches next year, with the quartet of English officials comprising the largest contingent from one nation.

The news comes as a fillip for officials in the English game after the retirements of Wayne Barnes and of Tom Foley, both of whom were involved in the World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand and received death threats afterwards.

Alongside Ridley – who will take charge of France’s hosting of Italy in Lille – Pierre Brousset of France and Andrea Piardi will make championship debuts, the latter becoming the first Italian official to referee a men’s Six Nations match when he oversees Ireland against Wales in Dublin.

Premiership referee Adam Leal will make his men’s Six Nations debut as an assistant referee, too, with Ian Tempest filling the gap left by Foley’s absence as a television match official.

Paul Williams of New Zealand will referee England’s opener against the Azzurri; compatriot James Doleman will take charge of the match against Wales; Andrew Brace will oversee the Calcutta Cup; Nika Amashukeli of Georgia will take the whistle for the hosting of Ireland at Twickenham before Australian Angus Gardner closes out the tournament in Le Crunch.

Paul Williams - Six Nations 2023 referees announced: Who will referee England’s matches?
Referee Paul Williams will oversee England's opening match against Italy in the Six Nations Championship - Getty Images/Adam Pretty

Ben O’Keeffe, fellow countryman of Williams and Doleman, will referee Scotland’s trip to Cardiff and has been spared a rendezvous with France. French captain Antoine Dupont said that the Kiwi was “not up to the challenge” of officiating after France’s defeat to the Springboks in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

When Pearce officiates Wales against France at the Principality Stadium, too, he will become the third Englishman after Wayne Barnes and Chris White to referee 50 Tests.

2024 Six Nations appointments

Round one

Friday, February 2: France v Ireland

  • Referee: Karl Dickson (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Way (Aus)

  • TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wal)

Saturday, February 3: Italy v England

  • Referee: Paul Williams (NZ)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Nic Berry (Aus)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Pierre Brousset (Fra)

  • TMO: Brett Cronan (Aus)

Saturday, February 3: Wales v Scotland

  • Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)

  • Assistant Referee 1: James Doleman (NZ)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Angus Mabey (NZ)

  • TMO: Brendon Pickerill (NZ)

Round two

Saturday, February 10: Scotland v France

  • Referee: Nic Berry (Aus)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Nika Amashukeli (Geo)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Way (Aus)

  • TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ire)

Saturday, February 10: England v Wales

  • Referee: James Doleman (NZ)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Hollie Davidson (Sco)

  • TMO: Brendon Pickerill (NZ)

Sunday, February 11: Ireland v Italy

  • Referee: Pierre Brousset (Fra)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Mathieu Raynal (Fra)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Luc Ramos (Fra)

  • TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

Round three

Saturday, February 24: Ireland v Wales

  • Referee: Andrea Piardi (Ita)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Gnecchi (Ita)

  • TMO: Eric Gauzins (Ita)

Saturday, February 24: Scotland v England

  • Referee: Andrew Brace (Ire)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Chris Busby (Ire)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Eoghan Cross (Ire)

  • TMO: Marius Jonker (SA)

Sunday, February 25: France v Italy

  • Referee: Christophe Ridley (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (Wal)

  • TMO: Ian Tempest (Eng)

Round four

Saturday, March 9: Italy v Scotland

  • Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Adam Leal (Eng)

  • TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SA)

Saturday, March 9: England v Ireland

  • Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Geo)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Piardi (Fra)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (Wal)

  • TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wal)

Sunday, March 10:Wales v France

  • Referee: Luke Pearce (Eng)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (Ire)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Damian Schneider (Arg)

  • TMO: Ian Tempest (R)

Round five

Saturday, March 16: Wales v Italy

  • Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Chris Busby (IRFU)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Morné Ferreira (SARU) T

  • TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Saturday, March 16: Ireland v Scotland

  • Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (RFU)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (RFU)

  • TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)

Saturday, March 16: France v England

  • Referee: Angus Gardner (RA)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Nika Amashukeli (GRU)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Damian Schneider (UAR)

  • TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

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