While the game will be won or lost by the 30 players on the pitch, the person holding the whistle does have an impact on the game.

That's why, before every Six Nations game, we will be taking a look at the man in black, or rather yellow.

The last of the Round 3 games sees Ireland and Italy go head-to-head at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.


Captain Johnny Sexton overcame a minor hamstring issue which kept him sidelined in Paris but has to settle for a place among the replacements this weekend, with Joey Carbery retaining the number 10 jersey.

Italy head into the game having suffered their 34th successive tournament defeat at home to England during Round 2 of the championship.

Here's who will be keeping the boys in line during the game.

Ireland v Italy referee: Nika Amashukeli

The first Georgian to referee a Six Nations match, Amashukeli is one of the three debutants in this year's Six Nations.

Interestingly, the first rugby match he watched on TV in full was Ireland v Georgia at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, refereed by Wayne Barnes. In 2020, Nika and Wayne refereed a match together in the Autumn Nations Cup.


Six Nations Ireland v Italy: Full list of officials

Of course, Nika won't be on his own, with a whole team of officials acting as additional eyes and ears.

Here's the full list of referees for the Ireland v Italy clash:

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (England)

Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (England)

Television Match Official (TMO): Eric Gauzins (France)

The Ireland v Italy Six Nations match takes place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Sunday, February 27 at 3pm.