FRANCE is facing Ireland in a match that could decide the winner of this year’s Six Nations.
The two teams are strong contenders for this year’s title and both are off to a winning start.
French overtake Italy as predicted to win 37-10 while Ireland made a claim by beating Wales 29-7.
But what do we know about this giant mid-match man at the Stade de France, Australia’s Angus Gardner?
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Who is Angus Gardner?
Angus Gardner was born in 1984 in Sydney.
As a teenager he was a keen rugby player until he was diagnosed with Scheuremann’s disease [a hereditary disc condition].
Gardner talks about when he was diagnosed Sydney Morning Herald: “Doctors are like ‘mate, you need to go fishing’ and that’s terrible to hear.
“One of the teachers suggested arbitration as a way to stay engaged and I went from there.”
Gardner refereed his first international match in 2011, in charge of Papua New Guinea vs Vanuatu.
A year later, he refereed his first Super Rugby match, the Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels.
In 2018 he refereed the Super Rugby final and that same year he won World Rugby’s Referee of the Year award.
Has Angus Gardner refereed France or Ireland before?
Angus Gardner has started one of France’s most important matches recently.
He was the man in the middle of France vs Argentina at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, in which the French won 23-21 eventually sending them into the quarterfinals.
Gardner was completely lost that day, when a duel between 20 men broke out after the final whistle.
At the same tournament, Gardner was in charge of Ireland’s match against hosts Japan, which ended in a 19-12 defeat and sent them into the quarter-finals against New Zealand.
Gardner also spoke about refereeing Ireland against South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, which he describes as his favorite venue.
He said: Fort, history. I played South Africa against Ireland there two years ago. Ireland took the lead 19-3 in the first half.
“The Ellis Park crowd booed the Springboks during halftime and I think they were booing me.
“Then, like the fairy tales, South Africa came out and won the game.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4664953/france-vs-ireland-referee-angus-gardner-six-nations-rugby/ France vs Ireland Who is the referee Angus Gardner? Former Rugby World Referee of the Year in charge of the six-nation clash