Rolland and Clancy on elite referee panel
Rugby:Two Irish referees are included in the eight man panel of match officials for the inaugural Rugby Championship involving Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and debutants Argentina.
Both Alain Rolland and George Clancy have been named by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, who under took a detailed review of performances during the recent June tours and Tests.
The IRB's commitment to promoting consistency by enabling movement in and out of the group and rewarding referees who are in form is reflected in the selection of the officials with Wayne Barnes returning following a strong showing in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup.
The referees are: Alain Rolland (IRFU), Steve Walsh (ARU), Nigel Owens (WRU), Romain Poite (FFR), Wayne Barnes (RFU), George Clancy (IRFU), Jaco Peyper (SARU) and Craig Joubert (SARU).
Rolland will make history when he takes charge of the first match of The Rugby Championship between Australia and New Zealand at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on August 18. On the same day Walsh will also make history when he referees Argentina's first match in a major annual Tier 1 competition when the Pumas face South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town.
The tournament begins on August 18.