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.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series