France and Wales are set to 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, rugby/organisation/governance/structure/council-committees?lang=en">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.”
France are Ireland's only challengers for this year's title but only if they beat Wales and Ireland get nothing from their match against England. Following three defeats, Wales were relieved to get a win under their belt against Italy last weekend.
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.
France v Wales referee: Nic Berry
Australia's Nic Berry took up refereeing following a serious concussion which saw him retire from playing rugby in 2012. He is one of the few former Super Rugby players to also have refereed a match in Super Rugby.
The 39 year old refereed his first Super Rugby match in 2016 and was selected as a Rugby World Cup referee in 2019.
Below is the full list of match referees as well as the TMO.
- Referee: Nic Berry (RA)
- Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
- Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
- TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)
France v Wales Six Nations 2023 confirmed line-ups
15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Thibaud Flament, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 6 François Cros, 7 Charles Ollivon, 8 Grégory Alldritt. Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Bastien Chalureau, 20 Sekou Macalou, 21 Maxime Lucu, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet.
15 Louis Rees-Zammit, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Adam Beard, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau. Replacements: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Leigh Halfpenny.
Six Nations 2023 France v Wales - how to watch
Kick off for the game being held at France’s home turf, Stade De France in Paris, is at 2.45pm. You can watch the match live on ITV1 and ITVX with build up to the clash beginning at 1.55pm.
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.