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Owens to ref French clash


NIGEL OWENS has been selected as the referee to take charge of Ireland's pivotal World Cup pool game against France at the Millennium Stadium.

The Welshman is widely regarded as one of the best in the game and Joe Schmidt is sure to be quietly content with World Rugby's decision.

Glen Jackson (New Zealand) will referee Ireland's opening game against Canada at the same venue, while South African Craig Joubert will officiate against Romania at Wembley.

The penultimate pool game against Italy at the Olympic Stadium will be refereed by Jerome Garces (France) before the potentially pool-deciding clash against France.