- Match officials selected for Rugby World Cup
- Six RFU professional game match officials included
World Rugby has announced the 23 match officials selected to take charge of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, including six from England.
Rugby Football Unions (RFU) professional game match officials Wayne Barnes and Luke Pearce have been named as referees, whilst Matthew Carley and Karl Dickson have been selected as assistant referees, with Graham Hughes and Rowan Kitt taking on Television Match Official (TMO) duties.
The tournament team comprises 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four TMOs, representing nine nations. With significant strength in depth in international officiating, the team has been selected on merit after a comprehensive review of performances over the last four international windows.
“Just like for the players and coaches, the Rugby World Cup represents the pinnacle of a match official’s career and I would like to congratulate the team who have achieved selection today through their hard work, commitment and dedication to excellence," said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.
“Put simply, without the match officials there would be no rugby and I am proud of the leading position that our sport enjoys in terms of the mutual respect and values displayed between match officials, players and all those involved in the game.”
Wayne Barnes will officiate in his fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup, while Luke Pearce will make his tournament debut after impressive performances in the Test arena over the last year.
Anthony Buchanan, World Rugby’s Match Official Selection Committee Chairman, added: “This selection was made on merit, on form and after a comprehensive process. With so much strength in depth, the panel was left with some tough decisions to be made across all areas. I would like to pay tribute to all the individuals involved in the process and congratulate the squad who have been selected for Japan 2019.
“Since Rugby World Cup 2015, we have been focused on developing a strong team ethic among the group of match officials while bringing through the next generation of test officials with regular meetings and workshops to share best practice and experiences. The group selected for Rugby World Cup 2019 contains a strong mix of experience and proven young talent and we have every confidence that they will be well prepared and ready to perform at the highest possible level at Japan 2019.”
Referees: 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
Assistant referees: 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
TMOs: Graham Hughes (England), Rowan Kitt (England), Ben Skeen (New Zealand) and Marius Jonker (South Africa) – 217 Tests as TMOs