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English referees appointed for both All Blacks vs Springboks games

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

World Rugby have named the referees for the remaining 2021 Rugby Championship matches which will be played in Australia next month, starting with the September 5 meeting of the Wallabies and the All Blacks in Perth which will see Australian Damon Murphy make his debut in the Championship fresh from taking charge of the gold medal men’s sevens match featuring Fiji at the Olympics in Tokyo.


While the Wallabies versus All Blacks game was originally pencilled to take place in Western Australia, it was only decided at the top of this week to also stage the other eight remaining fixtures in the tournament in Australia with the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast for a second time staging double-headers across four successive weekends.

The most eagerly awaited match-ups are the two meetings featuring the All Blacks versus the Springboks, the 2019 World Cup winners who have flown out to Australia on Thursday fresh from their Test series victory over the Lions which they followed with two Championship wins over Argentina. With South Africa opting out of last year’s Australian-held Championship, the age-old rivals have not clashed since the September 2019 World Cup pool match in Japan, a game that was won by the All Blacks. 

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World Rugby have decided to appoint English referees for the renewal of this ancient rivalry with Luke Pearce on the whistle in Townsville on September 25 for the 100th All Blacks versus Springboks Test match followed by Matthew Carley taking charge of the following weekend’s rematch on the Gold Coast. 

Carley, who hasn’t previously refereed in the Championship, will referee a total of three matches. He will make his bow in the tournament on September 18 when Australia play South Africa in Brisbane and he will also be in charge when the Wallabies play Argentina the following week in Townsville. Meanwhile, Pearce will also referee the September 12 meeting of South Africa-Australia, meaning English referees have been appointed for five of the remaining nine games in the Championship.

The Championship fixtures will also see under-fire Nic Berry back on the Test match whistle after finding himself controversially on the receiving end of much criticism from SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus following the July 24 first Test loss by the Springboks to the Lions in Cape Town. Berry will take charge of the All Blacks versus Argentina match on the Gold Coast on September 12. Meanwhile, South African Jaco Peyper has been handed two Argentina refereeing assignments, taking charge of their matches against New Zealand in Brisbane and versus Australia on the Gold Coast.  

Round One – August 14
New Zealand 57 Australia 22 (Auckland)
Springboks 32 Argentina 12 (Port Elizabeth)


Round Two – August 21
Argentina 10 Springboks 29 (Port Elizabeth)
September 5: Australia v New Zealand (Perth – Damon Murphy, RA))

Round Three – September 12 (Gold Coast)
New Zealand v Argentina (Nic Berry, RA)
Springboks v Australia (Luke Pearce (RFU)

Round Four – September 18 (Brisbane)
Argentina v New Zealand (Jaco Peyper, SARU)
Australia v Springboks (Matthew Carley, RFU)

Round Five – September 25 (Townsville)
New Zealand v Springboks (Luke Pearce, RFU)
Australia v Argentina (Matthew Carley, RFU)


Round Six – October 2 (Gold Coast)
Springboks v New Zealand (Matthew Carley, RFU)
Argentina v Australia (Jaco Peyper, SARU)


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