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World Rugby unveil referees for intense June and July Tests window

By Kim Ekin
Andrew Brace /(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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World Rugby have released the bulk of the refereeing appointments for the June and July tours, with multiple three Tests series taking place in the Southern Hemisphere.

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England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are all playing three Test series down south in July against Australia, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand respectively.

New Zealand’s James Doleman will take charge of England’s first Test against the Wallabies in Perth, while Ireland’s Andrew Brace will take charge of the second Test in Brisbane a week later.

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Wayne Barnes will referee a match in New Zealand for the first time since 2018. The English referee will move closer to the 100-test milestone as a referee when he takes charge of his 99th test with the third test between New Zealand and Ireland during a packed July international window.

Karl Dickson will take charge of the first Test, which takes two weeks earlier on the 2nd of July. Jaco Peyper has been appointed to referee the second Test between the sides on 9 July, where fellow South African Van der Westhuizen will be the TMO.

In South Africa Nika Amashukeli, Angus Gardner and Matthew Carley named as referees for the Springboks’ three Tests against Wales.

Amashukeli from Georgia will referee the Castle Lager Incoming Series opener in Pretoria on 2 July, which will be his first Test outside of Europe, while Gardner (Australia) was appointed for the second Test (9 July in Bloemfontein), and Carley (England) has been handed the final clash (16 July in Cape Town).

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New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe will take charge of his 30th test with Argentina v Scotland on 16 July.

Damon Murphy of Australia and England’s Luke Pearce will referee the Americas 2 play-off for Rugby World Cup 2023 between Chile and USA.

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“These appointments reflect another key milestone on the road to both the women’s and men’s Rugby World Cups and have been made on merit following a review of performances at both international and club level,” said World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Graham Mourie.

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“While the respective Six Nations competitions have demonstrated positive momentum for the match officiating group, we always strive for improvement and in particular by focusing on the clear and obvious with an emphasis on the promotion of safety, speed, space,” concluded Mourie.

Additional fixtures and match official appointments will be confirmed in due course, “while the women’s test match appointments will be announced separately” said World Rugby in a statement.

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