Pearce to take charge of Grand Slam clash in Paris

Luke Pearce will be the referee on Saturday night as Wales look to seal the Grand Slam in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations when they face France in Paris in Round 5.

Luke Pearce will be the referee on Saturday night as Wales look to seal the Grand Slam in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations when they face France in Paris in Round 5.

Pearce will head an all-English team of officials at the Stade de France, with Matthew Carley and Christophe Ridley assisting him on the touchlines and Wayne Barnes on TMO duty.

The match finishes off an epic day of action, with France still having Championship aspirations of their own, despite their narrow defeat against England in Round 4.

Wales made it four wins out of four with an impressive 48-7 victory against Italy in Rome and they are on the verge of their second Grand Slam triumph in three years, and the 13th in their history.

There is much on the line in this contest, with nine points currently separating the two teams in the standings.

The other two matches of the day will have a Frenchman in the middle, with Mathieu Raynal taking charge of Ireland’s clash with England at the Aviva Stadium.

Mike Adamson and Craig Evans are the assistant referees, while Romain Poite is the TMO for a contest between two teams who breathed new life into their campaigns in Round 4.

A nerveless late penalty from Jonny Sexton earned Ireland a 27-24 victory against Scotland in Edinburgh, as they made it two wins in a row after opening the 2021 Guinness Six Nations with two defeats.

England were also involved in a tight contest, as Maro Itoje’s try with four minutes left earned them a 23-20 win over France that ended their opponents’ Grand Slam hopes.

Ireland will be keen to avenge the 32-20 defeat England inflicted on them during their last visit to Dublin, during the 2019 Guinness Six Nations.

France’s Pascal Gauzère will be the referee when Scotland take on Italy at BT Murrayfield to kick off the day’s action in Round 5.

Gauzère will be assisted by Karl Dickson and Ben Whitehouse, while Alex Ruiz will man the TMO position in Edinburgh.

The match will be the last chance for Italy to record a victory in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations and it comes at the same venue that they picked up their last win in the Championship.

The Azzurri will be hoping for a similar outcome to the time a last-gasp penalty try earned them a 22-19 victory in 2015.

Scotland, meanwhile, will want to put a couple of narrow home losses, against Wales and Ireland, behind them and build on their impressive Round 1 victory against England at Twickenham.


Scotland v Italy (BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh; Saturday 20 March 2021 – 2.15pm)

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France) Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (England) Assistant Referee 2: Craig Evans (Wales) TMO: Alex Ruiz (France)

Ireland v England (Aviva Stadium, Dublin; Saturday 20 March 2021 – 4.45pm)

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France) Assistant Referee 1: Mike Adamson (Scotland) Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Piardi (Italy) TMO: Romain Poite (France)

France v Wales (Stade de France, Paris; Saturday 20 March 2021 – 8pm)

Referee: Luke Pearce (England) Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (England) Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (England) TMO: Wayne Barnes (England)