Be careful, this referee cursed by the XV of France returns to the VI Nations tournament

The 6 Nations Tournament begins this weekend, with the return of an old acquaintance.

Be careful, this referee cursed by the XV of France returns to the VI Nations tournament

The 6 Nations Tournament begins this weekend, with the return of an old acquaintance...

The 2024 6 Nations Tournament begins Friday February 2, with the clash between the XV of France and Ireland. A highly anticipated match between the last two winners of the tournament, but also the last two disappointed nations of the Rugby World Cup. Eliminated in the quarter-finals by South Africa, the Blues begin a new cycle with all the specter of this early elimination in "their" World Cup at home.

France is still considered the favorite nation for this 2024 edition of the 6 Nations, ahead of Ireland, which must face the aftermath of Sexton, its fly half and historic captain who retired internationally, and the England, 3rd in the World Cup in France. But we must not repeat the same mistakes and avoid thinking too much about the refereeing which traumatized the Blues last October.

Because even after several months, the "errors" of the New Zealand referee in the quarter-final lost against South Africa, Ben O'Keeffe, are still in the minds of the Blues and the supporters. Pointed out as the person responsible for the elimination because of a potential forward not whistled, an irregular counter on Ramos etc., the referee received the support of World Rugby and was even named best referee in his country. Valuable support, especially since the emblematic figures of refereeing are starting to be missing with the retirements of Wayne Barnes or Jaco Peyper.

Ben O'Keeffe is young (35 years old) and is currently considered one of the best referees in the world according to international authorities. He should therefore not turn into a black sheep for the Blues in the coming years. The New Zealander was even named among the referees for the 2024 6 Nations Tournament. From the first day, Saturday February 3, he will be on the whistle for the Wales – Scotland match, at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. He will then meet the English on February 10 at Twickenham, for a meeting against Wales. Another painful echo of the World Cup, since he was also on the whistle for the semi-final lost by the XV de la Rose against South Africa...

Good news for French supporters: Ben O'Keeffe will not officiate immediately during a French XV match. The teammates of Gregory Alldritt, new captain of the Blues, will be led on the first day by the Englishman Karl Dickson, by the Australian Nic Berry on February 10 during the trip to Scotland for the second day, by the Englishman Christopher Ridley against Italy on February 25, by his compatriot Luke Pearce in Wales on March 10 and finally by Australian Angus Gardner on the final day against England on March 16.

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