ENGLAND came to Italy in dire need of a Six Nations win.
The Red Rose defeated by Scotland on opening weekend and must now beat the Azzurri to keep their coronation hopes alive.
And Eddie Jones will have an Australian in the middle for the match in Rome, in the shape of Damon Murphy.
Who is Damon Murphy?
Damon Murphy was born in 1984 in Brisbane, Australia.
He had an illustrious career for local rugby club Brothers Old Boys, where he is said to be the all-time record goalscorer.
But it was at Sevens where he really made his name.
Murphy was called up to the Australian Sevens in 2004, and went on to captain a six-year international career.
This included appearing in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which Australia hosted and in which they finished in fourth place.
Murphy also made eight appearances for the Melbourne Rebels in the Australian Rugby Championship in the 2007 Youth Championship.
Where did Damon Murphy refer?
Damon Murphy’s ascent through the refereeing ranks has been measured.
Most recently in 2016 he made his debut in the Queensland Premier Rugby and Australian Rugby Championship.
That same year, he was invited to join the World Rugby Sevens Series refereeing committee.
And this is probably where he’s gotten his crown so far, taking charge of the men’s Olympic gold medal match between New Zealand and Fiji.
In 2018, he refereed the first international match between Hong Kong and the Cook Islands.
And he has now been selected to the Six Nations despite only taking charge of his first International Level 1 Test last July, New Zealand vs Fiji.
Murphy told rugby.au of his career: “I’m not sure if I have a favorite memory of being a referee, it all happened so quickly but there were some very satisfying moments.
“To name a couple, my first Super Rugby match was gratifying, taking my first Level One Test between New Zealand and Fiji and probably most recently a gold medal match at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I don’t go out there and referee the awards, you set yourself goals and you follow through.
“I don’t set date goals, to be recognized and given those opportunities, I think it’s a reflection of all the hard work we put in and all that very little is known about.
“People don’t quite understand the work of referees in Super Rugby and in Australia/New Zealand put into it.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17635062/italy-vs-england-referee-damon-murphy-six-nations-rugby/ Who is the referee Damon Murphy of Italy vs England? Former Australian Sevens captain makes Six Nations debut