Today sees Italy and Ireland go head to head and while it will be the players receiving the most attention, scrutiny will also fall on the man in the middle. Whether decisions go your team’s way or not, there’s a good chance the referee will become a talking point of this afternoon’s game.
In a change to 2022, this year each match will have a different referee overseeing the action with a total of eight nations represented in the selected match officials. Talking about the selection process ahead of the tournament, World Rugby Selection Committee Chairman Graham Mourie said: “As we enter a men’s Rugby World Cup year, our focus is very much on performance and culture as we begin to consider selections for France 2023.
“The more time we have with the group, the better it is for everyone, and we constantly challenge ourselves to be better, to achieve alignment and consistency and strengthen understanding with the teams. As with the November tests and The Rugby Championship, the Guinness Six Nations represents another opportunity for a talented group of match officials with a superb work ethic to help facilitate more excellent tests in what is probably the most competitive period in men’s rankings history.”
Ireland are hoping for a fourth Grand Slam in their history as they head to Rome. Ireland face an Italian side they have beaten in all but one of their 23 Six Nations meetings.
Here’s who will be keeping the two nations in line today, as well as full team line ups and how to watch the action live on tv.
Italy v Ireland referee: Mike Adamson
Scotland’s Mike Adamson is the man in charge of today’s Italy v Ireland clash. A former Scotland 7s international, his primary playing position was at fly-half. Adamson played professionally for Glasgow Warriors and London Scottish and at amateur level for Glasgow Hawks.
Below is the full list of match referees as well as the TMO.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Touch judges: Wayne Barnes (England) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Italy v Ireland Six Nations 2023 confirmed line-ups
Italy team to play Ireland:
15. Ange Capuozzo, 14. Edoardo Padovani, 13. Juan Ignacio Brex, 12. Tommaso Menoncello, 11. Pierre Bruno, 10. Paolo Garbisi, 9. Stephen Varney; 1. Danilo Fischetti, 2. Giacomo Nicotera, 3. Simone Ferrari, 4. Niccolò Cannone, 5. Federico Ruzza, 6. Sebastian Negri, 7. Michele Lamaro (c), 8. Lorenzo Cannone Replacements: 16. Luca Bigi, 17. Federico Zani, 18. Marco Riccioni, 19. Edoardo Iachizzi, 20. Giovanni Pettinelli, 21. Alessandro Fusco, 22. Luca Morisi, 23. Tommaso Allan
Ireland team to play Italy:
Ireland team to face Italy: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Stuart McCloskey, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. James Lowe, 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Craig Casey, 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Ronan Kelleher, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Iain Henderson 5. James Ryan (c), 6. Caelan Doris, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Jack Conan Replacements: 16. Dan Sheehan, 17. Dave Kilcoyne, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Ryan Baird, 20. Peter O’Mahony, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Jack Crowley, 23. Jimmy O’Brien
Six Nations 2023 Italy v Ireland - how to watch
Kick off for the game being held at Italy’s home turf, Stadio Olimpico in Rome, is at 2.15pm. You can watch the match live on ITV1 and ITVX with build up to the clash beginning at 1.25pm.
If you can’t get yourself in front of a screen for the game, you can listen to live commentary via BBC Radio 5 Live.