irb.com and James Mortimer 20.Dec.2013Getty Images
Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee following a detailed review of recent performances.
The Women’s Six Nations, which kicks off on January 31 and concludes on March 16, will see nine referees take charge of 15 matches with Nicky Inwood, Helen O’Reilly, Claire Hodnett, Christine Bigaran, Sherry Trumbell and Leah Berard being appointed to two matches each.
New Zealand's own Inwood will take charge of Wales v Italy at Port Talbot in Cardiff on February 2, and the following Friday will oversee Ireland v Wales at Ashbourne.
England’s Hodnett will referee the first game of the championship between defending champions Ireland and Scotland in Ashbourne, while Marlize Jordaan of South Africa will take charge of the final match, which will be between Italy and England in Milan.
The full list of referees, sponsored by Emirates, for the Women’s Six Nations 2014 is: Jess Beard (NZR) Leah Berard (USA Rugby), Christine Bigaran (FFR), Claire Hodnett (RFU), Nicky Inwood (NZR), Marlize Jordaan (SARU), Amy Perrett (ARU), Helen O’Reilly (IRFU) and Sherry Trumbull (Rugby Canada).
Referee preparation for the Six Nations championship included a three-day camp in Marcoussis, France, which is a host venue for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in October.
The camp mirrored the gathering for their male counterparts held last August at the same venue. The schedule included a series of preparation sessions, ranging from the consistent management of the ‘crouch, bind, set’ scrum engagement trial to an extensive fitness monitoring programme.
The IRB Women's Match Official Selection Committee is chaired by John Jeffrey and comprises Kat Todd (USA Rugby), Michel Lamoulie (FFR), Wayne Erickson (ARU), Bernd Gabbei (IRB) and IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge.