DUBLIN, Ireland – South Africans Jaco Peyper and Marius Jonker are part of the squad of 23 match officials selected to take charge of the 48 matches at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which runs from 20 September-2 November.
‘Team 21’ – the 21st tournament team – comprises 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four Television Match Officials (TMOs) representing nine nations.
World Rugby said the team is strongly international and each member has been selected on merit after a comprehensive review of performances over the last four international windows. The group features a blend of experience and youth:
Rugby World Cup 2019 Referees (12):
Wayne Barnes (England), Luke Pearce (England), Jérôme Garcès (France), Romain Poite (France), Pascal Gaüzère (France), Mathieu Raynal (France), Nigel Owens (Wales), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia) and Angus Gardner (Australia) – 457 tests as referees
Rugby World Cup 2019 Assistant referees (7):
Matthew Carley (England, reserve referee), Karl Dickson (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Shuhei Kubo (Japan) and Alex Ruiz (France) – 130 tests as assistant referees
Graham Hughes (England), Rowan Kitt (England), Ben Skeen (New Zealand) and Marius Jonker (South Africa) – 217 tests as TMOs
‘Team 21’ has 804 tests under its collective belt, as either referees, assistant referees or TMOs
The match officials were selected by World Rugby’s Match Official Selection Committee following a comprehensive review of performances and fitness.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Just like for the players and coaches, Rugby World Cup represents the pinnacle of a match official’s career and I would like to congratulate the team of 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four TMOs who have achieved selection today through their hard work, commitment and dedication to excellence.”
Match officials are not permitted to officiate matches involving their host nation in addition to being passage neutral.
Rugby World Cup 2019 is set to attract the largest number of international fans in the tournament’s history with more than 600,000 of the 1.8 million available tickets expected to be held by fans making the journey to Japan to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Demand for tickets across the 2018 ballot phases and during first come, first served sales that kicked off in January has been extraordinary, with more than five million ticket applications received. The remaining tickets will be available via www.RugbyWorldCup.com/tickets from 18 May, 2019.