Today sees Wales and England 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.”
One of the oldest rugby rivalries, Wales v England is sure to offer fans an electrifying game. The teams have contested a total of 138 rugby test matches against each other since their first meeting in 1881. Of those, England have won 66, Wales 60 and there have been 12 drawn matches.
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.
H2: Wales v England referee: Mathieu Raynal
Perpignan-born Mathieu Raynal is the man in charge of today’s Wales v England clash. Thought of as an extremely technical referee, he is known for making decisions by the book, regardless of its impact on the game.
After getting too close to the action in 2013, he was involved in a horrific accident leaving his leg broken in two places among other injuries. The Frenchman’s first professional game as a match official was during the 2006-2007 season and his first tier 1 fixture in charge was the 2012 Autumn international clash between Scotland and Tonga in Aberdeen.
Below is the full list of match referees as well as the TMO.
- Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
- Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
- Assistant Referee 2: Pierre Brousset (FFR)
- TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)
Wales v England Six Nations 2023 confirmed line-ups
Halfpenny; Adams, Grady, Hawkins, Rees-Zammit; O Williams, T Williams; G Thomas, Owens (capt), Francis, Beard, AW Jones, Tshiunza, Tipuric, Faletau. Replacements: Roberts, Carre, Lewis, Jenkins, Reffell, Hardy, Biggar, Tompkins
Steward; Malins, Slade, Lawrence, Watson; Farrell (c), Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Chessum; Ludlam, Willis, Dombrandt. Replacements: Walker, M Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, B Curry, Mitchell, M Smith, Arundell.
Six Nations 2023 Wales v England - how to watch
Kick off for the game being held at Wales’ home turf, Principality Stadium in Cardiff, is at 4.55pm. You can watch the match live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer with build up to the clash beginning at 4pm.
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, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru.