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France v Italy referee: Who is Six Nations official Christophe Ridley?

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Christophe Ridley will make his Six Nations debut after being appointed to referee the round three clash between France and Italy.

The talented young Englishman joins the officiating panel as a lead official after the retirement of Wayne Barnes, having worked closely with his compatriot during his career so far.

A former member of the academy at Leicester Tigers, Ridley switched to refereeing after a series of injuries and has developed quickly through the ranks after studying at the University of Gloucestershire.

Students on the sports scholarship programme at the university benefit from the expertise of three-time World Cup official Chris White, who helped both Ridley and fellow top official Matthew Carley develop.

Ridley’s Premiership debut came in 2018, taking charge of London Irish vs Wasps, and the 30-year-old travelled to last year’s World Cup as an assistant.

His Six Nations debut comes as one of four English referees appointed to games in the championship, with Carley, Karl Dickson and Luke Pearce all earning selection again.

Match officials for France vs Italy, Sunday 25 February (3pm GMT, Lille)

Referee: Christophe Ridley (Eng)

Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (Eng) & Craig Evans (Wal)

TMO: Ian Tempest (Eng)



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