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World Rugby names Rugby Championship, RWC warm-up match referees

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by William West/ AFP Via Getty)

Having last week named its list of 12 referees for Rugby World Cup 2023, World Rugby has now confirmed the match official appointments for the 38 Test and six non-Test preparations matches that will be played in July and August in the lead-up to the tournament in France.


Seventeen officials from nine nations will take charge of the 38 Test fixtures, with all 26 officials named on the Rugby World Cup 2023 panel involved in the preparation window.

Highlights from the list of appointments include:

  • Mathieu Raynal (France) will referee four matches in the window with the first – New Zealand versus South Africa on July 15 – his 40th Test in the middle;
  • Angus Gardner (Australia) brings up his 40th test with Samoa versus Tonga on August 5;
  • Paul Williams (New Zealand) will take charge of his 30th Test with Portugal versus USA on August 12;
  • And Hollie Davidson (Scotland) will be an assistant referee for four matches, including England versus Fiji at Twickenham on August 26.

A statement read: “World Rugby has unveiled the Emirates match official appointments for a bumper schedule of international fixtures taking place in July and August, including The Rugby Championship and preparation fixtures for Rugby World Cup 2023. At present, 38 Test fixtures will take place across the globe in a busy period for international rugby.

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Angus Gardner on Head Contact processes

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Angus Gardner on Head Contact processes

“The match official appointments reflect World Rugby’s ambitions beyond Rugby World Cup 2023, providing opportunity for match officials who will be in line for selection for the next Rugby World Cup cycles.”


World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This schedule of international fixtures is the culmination of a lot of collaboration and hard work between our high-performance staff and all our member unions.

“The preparation matches will give fans a foretaste of Rugby World Cup 2023 while providing match officials with great opportunities to perform ahead of rugby’s showcase event.”

  • Click here for The Rugby Championship fixtures and match official appointments; 
  • Click here for the remaining July and August matches and match official appointments.

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