Andrea Piardi will become the first Italian to referee a Guinness Six Nations encounter when Ireland play host to Wales in Round 3 of the 2024 Championship.
Piardi is one of three referees who will make their Championship debuts, alongside France’s Pierre Brousset and Englishman Christophe Ridley.
A total of 15 different referees, representing eight nations, will take charge of the 15 matches, with the Championship kicking off on February 2.
Karl Dickson will be the man in the middle for the opener, which pits 2023 Grand Slam winners Ireland up against the 2022 champions France in Marseille.
There will be eight assistant referees making their Championship debuts, including Scotland’s Hollie Davidson.
Luke Pearce is set to referee his 50th Test when he takes charge of Wales v France in Cardiff, becoming the 11th referee to reach the milestone and third Englishman after Wayne Barnes and Chris White.
World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge added: “The 2024 Guinness Six Nations marks the start of a new Rugby World Cup cycle and we look forward to working with the group selected. Congratulations to the debutants.”
Following the announcement of the appointments, Six Nations Rugby wishes to stress that it takes a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination, and in a bid to tackle hate speech and harmful content within its online community, is using advanced AI technology to filter, block, delete, and if needed, report cases.