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O'Keefe set for Six Nations refereeing debut

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    09 Dec 2016     Getty Images

This follows on the three Tests he controlled in June this year

Glen Jackson, who has 21 Tests to his credit, will referee Italy v Ireland in Rome on February 11.

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Assistant referees roles will involve Nick Briant in Scotland v Ireland on February 4 in Edinburgh where Glenn Newman will be TMO. Jackson will be an assistant in the England v France game at Twickenham on the same day.

Briant will be an assistant in the February 11 game in Cardiff between Wales and England while Newman will be TMO in that game as well.

On March 10 when Wales play Ireland in Cardiff, Ben Skeen will be TMO and a day later he will be at Twickenham to be TMO in England's game with Scotland. A week later Skeen will be TMO in Dublin for what many believe will by the Six Nations final between Ireland and England.

On March 18 O'Keefe will be assistant referee in Paris for the France v Wales game.

World Rugby match official selection committee chairman Anthony Buchanan said: "We are very much on the road to Rugby World Cup 2019 now and, as we build our team towards that, we are conscious of the need to provide talented, up-and-coming officials with an opportunity to perform at this level while also ensuring that the best games are overseen by the best referees.

"Ben O'Keefe is an exciting prospect and, having performed well at Investec Super Rugby and in some tough Test matches this year, we are delighted that he will be taking charge of a Six Nations game for the first time," he said.

Buchanan said the focus for the match officials would continue to be 'clear and consistent decision-making coupled with the highest standards of physical conditioning'.