Owens and Brace appointed as referees for 2020 Guinness Six Nations

Andy Baber
04 December 2019

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Guinness PRO14 official Andrew Brace will take charge of a Guinness Six Nations game for the first-ever time next year when he makes his debut in the 2020 tournament.

The Cardiff-born 31-year-old oversaw his first Guinness PRO14 game back in 2015 when Cardiff Blues took on Zebre and has been a regular fixture in the league ever since.

Having risen through the Irish RU ranks, he has also refereed matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup while he was an assistant referee in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

And he has been rewarded for his performances in the Guinness PRO14 and other competitions with the honour of overseeing his first Six Nations contest in the new year.

Brace, who used to work as a community development officer for the Blues, will be the man in the middle when France welcome Italy to the Stade de France in Round 2.

He will not be the only Guinness PRO14 referee representative in action during the 2020 Six Nations Championship either, with Nigel Owens set to referee his 98th Test match.

Owens will officiate the Round 1 clash between France and England at the Stade de France and will be joined by Brace, who will be one of his two assistant referees for the game.

The 48-year-old Welshman will then return the favour for Brace when he makes his Six Nations referee bow in the following round, with Owens running the line for France against Italy.

Along with the experience he has gained at senior level, Brace has previously also refereed matches in the Six Nations U20 Championship and World Rugby U20 Championship.

And World Rugby 15s high performance match official manager Alain Rolland singled out Brace for special praise as he hailed the strong officiating crew for the 2020 Six Nations.

“There is a huge amount of excitement and motivation across the team as we head into the first Six Nations of the new decade,” he said.

“We have a strong team ethic, a superb group of match officials and we are excited about the young talent that is coming through the ranks from the U20 Championship and elite club environment.

“Our goal is always clear, consistent and accurate decision-making and while there is no change in emphasis, we will continue to build on what we achieved at Rugby World Cup 2019.

“I would also like to congratulate Andrew Brace on his first Six Nations refereeing appointment.”

In addition to the appointment of Brace, Mike Adamson, Frank Murphy and Ben Whitehouse have all been appointed as assistant referees for the first time.

Brian MacNeice (IRFU) will also be TMO for four games during the 2020 Six Nations.

Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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