Billy Stickland/INPHO Owens is a favourite of Irish fans.
# Men in the Middle
We now know who will referee Ireland's games at the Rugby World Cup
Nigel Owens will take charge of Ireland v France.

NIGEL OWENS WILL take the whistle for Ireland’s biggest pool game at the Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby have today announced the full list of refereeing appointments for the pool stages of the tournament, and Irish fans will likely be pleased to see Welshman Owens taking control of things when they face France in their final pool game in Cardiff on October 11.

Ireland’s opening World Cup game against Canada in Cardiff on September 19 will be refereed by Glan Jackson of New Zealand, while the meeting with Romania in Wembley will be controlled by South African Craig Joubert.

They then meet Italy in the Olympic Stadium on October 4, with Jerome Garces of France due to be the man in the middle, before signing off the pool against the French.

We also know what games will be controlled by Irish refs George Clancy and John Lacey.

Clancy will take charge of three games in the pool stages, the Pool B meeting of Samoa and USA on September 20, Italy v Canada in Ireland’s Pool D on September 26, and he’ll also be in the centre for the Pool C clash between Namibia and Georgia.

Lacey is taking charge of two pool games, but seems to have landed himself with some exciting pairs, the Pool A meeting of Wales and Fiji on October 1, before getting to referee the champions New Zealand against Tonga on October 8.

To see the full list of World Cup pool appointments, click here.

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