The International Rugby Board has announced the match official appointments for the 2014 Six Nations.
Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting in Dublin and follow a detailed review of recent performances during a busy November international window.
The Six Nations, which kicks off on February 1 and concludes on March 15, will see 11 referees take charge of 15 matches with Nigel Owens, Craig Joubert, Jerome Garces and Steve Walsh being appointed to two matches each.
Ireland's John Lacey will referee the first game of the championship between Wales and Italy at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, while Steve Walsh of Australia will take charge of the final match, which will be between France and Ireland in Paris.
The full list of referees for the Six Nations 2014 is: Pascal Gauzerre (France), Craig Joubert (South Africa), John Lacey (Ireland), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Steve Walsh (Australia), Alain Rolland (Ireland), Jérôme Garces (France), Romain Poite (France), Nigel Owens (Wales) and Wayne Barnes (England).
IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said: "Before making these appointments, careful consideration has been given to every performance during what was an extremely busy November window. Our policy is to apply the best-for-best principle while also keeping one eye on the future to ensure the best-possible panel for Rugby World Cup 2015."
"We continue to consult with coaches and teams in making our selection decisions. I'd like to thank the Unions for their commitment and full support to this official channel of feedback."
"The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the Game. The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance."
The selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.
The IRB Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by John Jeffrey, comprises former elite referees Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Andrew Cole (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (European Rugby Cup), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge.
The committee meets four times a year and makes selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed in advance of selection.
With thanks to the IRB