Nigel Owens will take charge of two Tests in New Zealand this summer
Top Welsh referee Nigel Owens has retained his place among the world's elite officials and is one of nine selected by the IRB to control Test matches in June.
The IRB, who have made a commitment to ensuring that the best referees are selected on form to officiate in the biggest matches in the run up to Rugby World Cup 2015, has announced a restructured and more streamlined selection process overseen by a vastly experienced committee.
The new four-man committee, which former Welsh international Clayton Thomas along with Lyndon Bray, Tappe Henning and Donal Courtney, will now meet four times a year and make selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed as part of the next round of international selections.
Following the review of performances during the recent RBS 6 Nations, the selection committee has chosen nine elite referees to take charge of the top matches in a busy June international window. The referees are:
George Clancy (Ireland), Jérôme Garcès (France), Craig Joubert (South Africa), Nigel Owens (Wales), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Romain Poite (France), Alain Rolland (Ireland) and Steve Walsh (Australia).
Rolland has been given his first game involving Wales since he controversially sent-off Sam Warburton in the Rugby World Cup semi-final against France in Auckland. He will take charge of the game against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, 2 June.
Meanwhile, Grand Slam referee Craig Joubert will be the man in the middle in the first and third Tests in Australia when Wales meet the Wallabies in Brisbane (9 June) and Sydney (23 June). The second Test in Melbourne will be controlled by New Zealand's Chris Pollock.
Owens has been given the first and second Tests between world champions New Zealand and Ireland in Auckland (9 June) and Christchurch (16 June). He will also be the No1 assistant for South Africa v England in Port Elizabeth on 23 June.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.