England v Ireland referee: Who is Six Nations official Nika Amashukeli?

Nika Amashukeli is one of the world’s best young referees  (PA)
Nika Amashukeli is one of the world’s best young referees (PA)

Nika Amashukeli will take charge of England vs Ireland in the 2024 Six Nations.

The trailblazing Georgian returns to the tournament after making history at the World Cup in the autumn.

The 29-year-old became the first referee from Georgia to officiate at the event, and the youngest whistler since Wayne Barnes in 2007 to be appointed to a men’s World Cup panel.

Amashukeli represented Georgia at junior level as a centre, but was forced to retire at the age of 20 after a series of concussions and other injuries.

He was recruited as a referee as part of a new programme to improve officiating standards in the country, developed in partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union.

As part of that relationship, Amashukeli has been mentored by Irish official David McHugh, who refereed games at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups.

In July 2021, Amashukeli officiated Wales’ win over Canada, his first international appointment involving a Tier One nation.

A Six Nations debut followed seven months later, and Amashukeli has since forged a reputation as a referee of high potential.

England v Ireland match officials (Saturday 9 March, Twickenham)

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Geo)

ARs: Andrea Piardi (Ita) & Craig Evans (Wal)

TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wal)