Jerome Garces will referee Ireland’s opening match in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations Championship against England at the Aviva stadium on Saturday February 2nd (4.45). The Frenchman is one of the top officials in the game, with a sympathetic style from a player’s perspective and his appointment should be embraced by the protagonists.
Three referees who took charge of Ireland games during last year’s Six Nations Grand Slam march will once again preside over matches involving Joe Schmidt’s team. Another Frenchman Romain Poite will be in charge when Ireland travel to take on Scotland at Murrayfield – he did the Italy game last season – while New Zealander Glen Jackson will have the whistle in Rome having refereed Ireland’s win over Wales in 2018.
Jackson’s compatriot Ben O’Keeffe will take charge of Ireland’s game against France in round four while Australia’s Angus Gardner, who was the referee when Schmidt’s charges beat England to win the Grand Slam at Twickenham last season, will coincidentally preside over Ireland’s final match in the tournament, against Wales in the Principality stadium.
Nigel Owens is the only Pro14 referee who has been selected for the Six Nations with no Irish referees picked.
Ireland’s Six Nations fixtures and referees
Feb 2: Ireland v England, Aviva stadium (4.45) – J Garces (France).
Feb 9: Scotland v Ireland Murrayfield (2.15) – R Poite (France).
Feb 24: Italy v Ireland, Stadio Olimpico (3.0, Irish time) – G Jackson (New Zealand).
Mar 10: Ireland v France, Aviva stadium (3.0) – B O’Keeffe (New Zealand).
Mar 16: Wales v Ireland, Principality stadium (2.45) – A Gardner (Australia).