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Three Europeans lead the way as World Rugby picks its four quarter-final referees

By Online Editors
Referee Jerome Garces gestures during the World Cup Pool B game between New Zealand and South Africa in Yokohama (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

World Rugby has announced the match officials for the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup following a full review of performances over the 37 pool matches.


Jérôme Garcès (France), Nigel Owens (Wales), Jaco Peyper (South Africa) and Wayne Barnes (England) will take charge of the four matches in Tokyo and Oita over the weekend of October 19-20.

In a selection that reflects the officiating team’s blend of experience and younger talent, Garcès will take charge of his second Rugby World Cup quarter-final as England face Australia in Oita on Saturday (16:15 JST) and Owens will take charge of world champions New Zealand versus Ireland at Tokyo Stadium on the same day (19:15 JST).

Sunday’s matches will see Peyper take charge of his 50th Test (and his first quarter-final) with Wales versus France in Oita (16:15 JST), while Barnes will round-off the weekend’s action by refereeing hosts Japan against South Africa at Tokyo Stadium (19:15 JST).

The four referees have 285 Test appearances between them as referees. The selection has been made following a full review of the 37 pool matches at Asia’s first Rugby World Cup. The selection was made on merit by World Rugby’s match officials selection committee.

(Continue reading below…)

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Every team takes time to settle at a major event and I am delighted with how this group of exceptional match officials have responded across the pool stage. They are the best of the best and have played their full part in what will be remembered as an incredible pool stage.

“I would like to congratulate Jérôme, Nigel, Jaco and Wayne, the assistant referees and TMOs and we now look forward to four compelling matches on the road to determining who will lift the Webb Ellis Cup on 2 November.”

World Rugby high performance 15s match official manager Alain Rolland added: “As a team, the match officials have worked hard to achieve consistency and clarity of decision-making during an exciting pool stage.


“While it is the referees who will get the recognition for the quarter-final appointments, this is a team game. We have an excellent team of referees, assistant referees and TMOs with a strong culture of working together to elevate performances. As we are looking ahead to the knockout stage, everyone remains in the reckoning for semis and finals selection.”

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