South Africa’s Aimee Barrett-Theron will have the honour of officiating the opening match of the Women’s Six Nations for the third year in a row when France hosts England in Pau in February, while Jaco Peyper has also been tasked with holding the whistle in the men’s Six Nations next year.
Barrett-Theron will be the woman in the middle in two matches – the opener at Stade du Hameau in France on Sunday 2 February, and the encounter between Ireland and Wales in Dublin a week later on Sunday, 9 February.
Peyper, who refereed his 50th Test at the Rugby World Cup in October, will take the whistle in the match between England and Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday 23 February.
Barrett-Theron’s appointment follows a number of global assignments this year which saw her officiate in the November Internationals between the USA and Canada in San Diego, a Test between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park in August, and the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego in July.
Peyper also had a memorable year, which included featuring on the Rugby World Cup referee panel in Japan, where he had the honour of officiating his 50th Test in the quarter-final between Wales and France.
Both referees were named in the SA Rugby National referees panel last month.
“We are very proud of Aimee and Jaco,” said SA Rugby Referees Manager, Banks Yantolo.
“The fact that they continues to feature regularly among the best referees on the international stage is a big feat, and this is a just reward for all their hard work and discipline to remain at this level.
“They have certainly set a fine example of what it takes to reach the top, and we have no doubt that if they maintain these high standards their careers will continue to flourish.”