Who is Italy vs England referee Damon Murphy? Former Australia Sevens captain makes Six Nations debut

ENGLAND head to Italy in desperate need of a Six Nations victory.

The Red Rose were beaten by Scotland on the opening weekend and now must beat the Azzurri to keep their title hopes alive.

And Eddie Jones will have a fellow Australian in the middle for the match in Rome, in the shape of Damon Murphy.

Who is Damon Murphy?

Damon Murphy was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1984.

He enjoyed an illustrious career for local rugby club Brothers Old Boys, where he was reportedly the all-time record try scorer.

But it was in Sevens where he really made his name.

Murphy was called up the the Australia Sevens team in 2004, and went on to captain it in a six-year international career.

This included appearing in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which Australia hosted and in which they ended up finishing fourth.

Murphy also made eight appearances for Melbourne Rebels in the Australian Rugby Championship in the fifteens game in 2007.

Where has Damon Murphy refereed?

Damon Murphy's rise through the refereeing ranks has been meteoric.

As recently as 2016, he was making his debut in Queensland Premier Rugby and the Australian Rugby Championship.

In the same year he was invited to join the World Rugby Sevens Series referees panel.

And this is where he has had perhaps his crowning achievement so far, taking charge of the Men's Olympic gold medal match between New Zealand and Fiji.

In 2018, he refereed his first international between Hong Kong and the Cook Islands.

And he has now been selected for the Six Nations despite only taking charge of his first Tier 1 Test international in July last year, New Zealand vs Fiji.

Murphy told rugby.au of his career: “I’m not sure I have a favourite memory as a referee, it’s all happened so quickly but there have been some very satisfying moments.

“To name a couple, doing my first Super Rugby game was very satisfying, doing my first Tier One Test between New Zealand and Fiji and probably the most recent one was doing the gold medal match at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I don’t go out there and referee for the accolades, you set yourself goals and you go along.

“I don’t set appointment goals, to be recognised and given those opportunities I think is a reflection of all the hard work that we put in and all that stuff is very unbeknown to people.

"People don’t quite understand the work referees in Super Rugby and in Australia/New Zealand put into it.”

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