2 Oct 2010

Walsh to make return to top-level refereeing

6:20 am on 2 October 2010

The controversial rugby referee Steve Walsh will end his two-year exile from the sport's top level when he takes charge of the Wales match against world champions South Africa in Cardiff in November.

Walsh is also set to take charge of Scotland's November match against Samoa.

The New Zealander was frozen out of rugby's top level in 2008, when he turned up drunk to a conference of leading southern hemisphere referees in Sydney.

The 38-year-old returned to the international stage in the low profile Pacific Nations Cup match between Japan and Samoa in June, but the November game will be Walsh's first tier one fixture since February 2008.

The International Rugby Board's referees' manager Paddy O'Brien says Walsh had impressed the selectors and deserved his reward.