Alain Rolland will not referee Wales in the Six Nations

Controversial World Cup referee Alain Rolland will not officiate any of Wales' Six Nations matches.

The Irishman became a hate figure after sending off Welsh captain Sam Warburton 18 minutes into last month's 9-8 World Cup semi-final defeat by France.

Rolland will oversee France v England and Italy v Scotland - but has no role in any Wales game either as assistant or television official.

The International Rugby Board supported his decision to send off Warburton.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said he was "gutted" by the sending off, which he said denied his side the chance to compete effectively.

Rolland's Red: Player tweets

  • "Rolland u've had a shocker.... Not the first time either!!! We're not here to watch u.... (England wing Mark Cueto)
  • "Should have been a yellow but never a red, poor Sam he's been the heart and soul of Wales! (England full-back Ben Foden)
  • " Yellow card, no one says another word. Sam Warbuton wrongly sent off. " (Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson)
  • "Really gutted for Wales - never a red card" (Ex-Scotland lock Doddie Weir)

The referee was backed by the IRB and even received support from ex-Wales captain Robert Jones , who said that, although the tackle on wing Vincent Clerc initially looked innocuous, replays showed the "tip" tackle was dangerous as the player was dropped.

Rolland will officiate in the England and Scotland games on 11 March and 17 March respectively.

France will come face to face with the referee who they claim did them few favours in their World Cup final against New Zealand.

Craig Joubert's role in their 8-7 defeat came under scrutiny after the South African failed to punish several high tackles by the All Blacks.

Joubert will oversee France's potentially decisive clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium on 17 March.