Rugby World Cup 2023: who is the referee, TMOand touch judges for France vs Italy?
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France will be aiming to cement their spot at the top of Pool A this weekend.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts are undefeated so far in the tournament and are on course to face the runner-up of Pool B - featuring Ireland, South Africa and Scotland. The French return to action for the first time since the round three 96-0 demolition of Namibia.
Despite the emphatic scoreline, the victory in Marseile came at a cost as talismanic captain Antoine Dupont suffered a facial fracture. He underwent surgery and has been cleared to return to action - but it is not yet confirmed if he will be in the squad for the final group stage game.
France started the tournament with a victory over New Zealand - who will also play their final group stage game in Lyon this week. The All Blacks put Italy to the sword during their game last weekend - subjecting them to a demoralising 96-17 defeat.
The Italians will be looking to bounce back and keep their slim hopes of advancing to the world cup quarter-finals for the first time alive. However Italy have not tasted victory over France since the 2013 Six Nations - more than a decade ago.
It would be one of the great world cup upsets if Italy were to beat France. But who will be the match officials for the game at OL Stadium in Lyon on Friday, 6 October.
Here's all you need to know:
Who is the referee for France vs Italy?
English match official Karl Dickson will be the man in charge at OL Stadium on Friday night. The former professional rugby player turned referee has refereed three games so far at the tournament - including Fiji vs Georgia last weekend.
The France vs Italy match will be the first game from Pool A he has taken charge of - having been the referee for two games in Pool C and one in Pool B. Dickson, 41, is making his Rugby World Cup debut with the tournament in France.
Dickson made the switch to become a match official after retiring from rugby in 2017. During his career he made 169 appearances for Harlequins between 2009 and 2017 - who played scrum-half during his career. He started doing his qualifications in 2014.
Who is the TMO and touch judges?
Dickson will be joined by English referee Luke Pearce and Welsh official Craig Evans as his touch judges/ assistant referees for the game in Lyon on 6 October. Pearce has refereed multiple games during the tournament including New Zealand vs Namibia in Pool A.
The TMO for the match will be South African official Marius Jonker. It will be a busy 24 hours for the referee as he is also set to be the TMO for New Zealand vs Uruguay on Thursday night.
How to watch France vs Italy?
Coverage will begin at 7.30pm ahead of kick-off at 8pm in Lyon.