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Jaco Peyper is a South African rugby referee who is on the International Rugby Board's elite panel. Discover his career with rugby gurus RugbyPass.

Jaco Peyper Bio

Jaco Peyper is a South African rugby referee who is one of the game’s greats. Since he began refereeing on the international stage, he’s officiated in some of the world’s biggest clashes, including a Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Jaco Peyper was inducted into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame in 2021.

Born 13 May 1980, Jaco Peyper took up refereeing at a young age. His talent for officiating the game shone almost immediately and he quickly rose through the ranks of South African rugby. As a result, he officiated his first game in the Currie Cup in 2006 and his first game of Super Rugby in 2008.

By 2011, Jaco Peyper’s refereeing prowess was recognised on the international stage and he was named as an official for the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship. This included the final between England and New Zealand.

The very next year, Jaco Peyper was promoted to the International Rugby Board's elite panel. As a result, he refereed Scotland’s tour of Oceania the same year, including their victories over Australia, Fiji and Samoa. During 2012, he also refereed a match between Argentina and New Zealand in The Rugby Championship.

Over the course of the next several years, Jaco Peyper became an established international referee. As a result, he was selected as one of the twelve referees for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Then, after continuing to impress in test matches, The Rugby Championship clashes and Super Rugby fixtures, he was again named as a referee for the 2019 edition of the Rugby World Cup. At the tournament, he impressed again and was named as the referee for the quarter-final between Wales and France.

However, following the game, Jaco Peyper became embroiled in controversy. After sending off France’s Sébastien Vahaamahina during the game for an elbow, he posed with Welsh fans while holding his elbow close to the head of one of the fans. As a result, he was not considered for a World Cup semi-final the week after.