The Saturday afternoon meeting of Scotland v Italy will be refereed by England’s Luke Pearce. This tournament is particularly important for Luke and Matthew Carley as this is their first appearance as referees.

Karl Dickson is having his first outing in the 6 Nations with 3 assistant referee appointments and three of England TMO’s (Rowan Kitt, Graham Hughes and David Grasoff) have also received appointments.

With Rugby World Cup 2019 on the horizon, match official performances over the period will be taken into account when the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee meets at the end of March to make the appointments for rugby’s showcase event.

From the 14 referees participating in the 6 Nations Championship, 12 will be selected to go to Rugby World Cup, along with seven assistant referees and four TMO’s. The match officials selected for the Rugby World Cup will participate in a preparation camp in Japan during the month of July to ensure they, like the players and teams, are fully primed for rugby’s greatest showpiece.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan said: “The 6 Nations Championship will provide a very important platform for our Rugby World Cup 2019 preparations, with high intensity matches in front of exceptionally engaged, atmospheric crowds, giving our match officials a great opportunity to put into practice the hard work undertaken at our referee training and preparation camps.

“We have a very dedicated, experienced and talented group of match officials and there will be some very tough decisions to make regarding Rugby World Cup selection after the 6 Nations performances have been appraised. The selectors are pleased with progress and are looking for consistency of clear and accurate decision-making in the biggest international fixtures and competitions, including the 6 Nations.

“Our goal is to arrive at Rugby World Cup 2019 with the best-possible team of in-form, in-peak physical condition match officials. Just like the teams, they are focused on performing in Japan in the best condition of their lives on the greatest stage of rugby.”