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

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

“The nature of the interference is judged differently in international rugby and the nature of the scrum is judged differently in international rugby,” Borthwick said. “It is important that teams have the opportunity to compete for penalties [but] we see too many scrums that don’t participate in the match. I love the scrum match and I don’t want it to leave our game.

“Sometimes we take away from the game a bit by wanting the ball in and out and if the ball doesn’t stay in place we play away and don’t have another scrum. We know Test rugby isn’t like that. Test rugby, the scrum is a competition, as we discovered in the World Cup semi-final – as we improved it.

“The breakdown is also a huge competition. English referees; the way they manage the Premier League, the ball speed is high and they want the ball to come out of that breakdown. The area around the ball is clean in the Premier League because if it isn’t it will be penalized.

“It’s different in Test rugby. In Test rugby that area isn’t as clean and the back row becomes one of the biggest nuts and bolts that I watch every session, every match, every tournament. When it comes to a breakdown, everyone has a responsibility, but the back row is crucial,” 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 given the whistle for the men’s championship matches.

Matthew Carley, Luke Pearce and debutant Christophe Ridley will join Dickson as referees in next year’s men’s Six Nations matches, with the quartet of England officials set to form the largest single country contingent.

The news comes as a boost for officials in the England match following the retirement of Wayne Barnes and Tom Foley, who were both involved in the World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand and received death threats afterwards.

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

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

New Zealand’s Paul Williams 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; Georgia’s Nika Amashukeli will referee for Ireland’s hosting at Twickenham before Australia’s Angus Gardner wraps up the tournament at Le Crunch.

Paul Williams - Six Nations 2023 referees announced: who will referee England matches?Paul Williams - Six Nations 2023 referees announced: who will referee England matches?

Referee Paul Williams will oversee England’s opening match against Italy in the Six Nations Championship – Getty Images/Adam Pretty

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

When Pearce also officiates Wales against France at the Principality Stadium, 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 vs Ireland

  • Referee: Karl Dickson (English)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (English)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Way (Aus)

  • TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wal)

Saturday February 3: Italy vs 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 vs 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 (English)

  • Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Gnecchi (Ita)

  • TMO: Eric Gauzins (Ita)

Saturday February 24: Scotland vs 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 vs Italy

  • Referee: Christophe Ridley (English)

  • Assistant referee 1: Matthew Carley (English)

  • Assistant referee 2: Craig Evans (Wal)

  • TMO: Ian Tempest (English)

Round four

Saturday March 9: Italy v Scotland

  • Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (English)

  • Assistant referee 2: Adam Leal (English)

  • TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SA)

Saturday March 9: England vs 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 (English)

  • Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (Ire)

  • Assistant referee 2: Damian Schneider (Arg)

  • TMO: Ian Tempest (right)

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 vs 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 vs 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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