French referee Romain Poite will be in charge for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales at the Millenium Stadium.
Poite was confirmed as the man in the middle for the first game of the 2013 Six Nations when the appointments were announced today by the International Rugby Board.
Both Munster and Leinster have had their issues with Poite in the past, particularly with his interpretation of the scrum and he famously awarded 13 penalties against Ireland when they played Italy in the 2011 Six Nations.
There will be another Frenchman in charge when Ireland host England at the Aviva on 10 February, when Jérôme Garces takes charge, while Aussie Steve Walsh will be the man in the middle when France come to visit Dublin in March.
Englishman Wayne Barnes has been named referee for Ireland’s trip to Edinburgh to take on Scotland on 24 February, and he will also officiate Ireland in their final game of the championship against Italy in Rome on 16 March.
Irish referee Alain Rolland will take charge of England's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham on 2 February.
Rolland’s compatriot George Clancy has been handed two games and he will referee France v Wales on 9 February and England v Italy on 10 March.