Walsh to make high-profile return
September 30, 2010
Steve Walsh made a successful return to Super Rugby in 2010 © Getty Images
Controversial referee Steve Walsh will return to the international stage when Wales take on South Africa in Cardiff on November 13.
The New Zealand-born official is now refereeing under the banner of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) after he was stood down by the NZRU following an alcohol-related incident at a SANZAR conference in 2009.
He will take charge of his first tier one Test match in two years at the Millennium Stadium, having made a low-key return to international refereeing in Japan's Pacific Nations Cup meeting with Samoa in June. He will also take the whistle for Scotland's November appointment with Samoa at Pittodrie in Aberdeen.
His opportunity comes following a successful return to Super Rugby in 2010, although he again made the headlines following a spat with Brumbies captain Stephen Hoiles and Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau.
"It is good to see Steve Walsh return to the International Referee Panel, while we are delighted to welcome Francisco Pastrana to the Assistant Referee Panel, having performed so well at the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina this year," said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O'Brien. "Both have impressed the selectors and deserve their reward, and Pastrana's selection reinforces the continued role of the development pathway created via the IRB Age Grade Championships and Sevens World Series in preparing referees for the Test arena."
Elsewhere, New Zealand and Australia's Bledisloe Cup meeting in Hong Kong on October 30 will be refereed by Ireland's Alain Rolland while the first Test to be staged at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, Ireland's clash with South Africa, will be officiated by Wales' Nigel Owens. French referee Romain Poite will take charge of England's Twickenham showdown with the All Blacks.
Englishman Wayne Barnes will take charge of the Wales v Australia match on November 6 and compatriot Dave Pearson will be the referee for the Scotland v New Zealand and Italy v Fiji Test matches on November 13 and November 27 respectively with Andrew Small leading the officials for the France v Fiji fixture.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.