Thank heavens Roman Poite doesn't handle Boks pool matches

Thank heavens Roman Poite doesn't handle Boks pool matches

The Springboks’ pool matches at the Rugby World Cup will be handled exclusively by French and English referees, according to World Rugby’s appointment schedule released on Friday.

The Boks opening match against New Zealand will be handled by Jérôme Garcès

There would be some relief from a South African perspective that controversial French referee Roman Poite will not be in charge of their pool games. Poite has been in many unfortunate situations, involving South Africa and famously including the decisive match in the All Blacks versus British and Irish Lions series in 2017 when he seemed to deprive the All Blacks of a last-gasp chance to win at Eden Park.

He could, of course, be appointed for a play-off in which the Boks are involved.

♦ Two Frenchmen and two Englishmen will be in charge of South Africa’s four Pool B matches in Japan in September and October.

The officials appointed to the Springboks’ matches are below:





AR 1

AR 2


Sat 21 Sept

New Zealand v South Africa

International Stadium, Yokohama

Jérôme Garcès (FFR)

Romain Poite (FFR)

Karl Dickson (RFU)

Graham Hughes (RFU)

Sat 28 Sept

South Africa v Namibia

City of Toyota Stadium

Mathieu Raynal (FFR)

Nic Berry (RA)

Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Graham Hughes (RFU)

Fri 4 Oct

South Africa v Italy

Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa

Wayne Barnes (RFU)

Romain Poite (FFR)

Alex Ruiz (FFR)

Rowan Kitt (RFU)

Tues 8 Oct

South Africa v Canada

Kobe Misaki Stadium

Luke Pearce (RFU)

Angus Gardner (RA)

Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Rowan Kitt (RFU)

Pearce and Raynal are among five referees making their first appearance at a Rugby World Cup while South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will mark a major milestone when he takes charge of Japan v Samoa at the City of Toyota Stadium on 5 October. Should he referee all scheduled test matches prior to the match, Peyper will make his 50th test appearance.

Peyper will also take charge of matches between Argentina and Tonga and England and France.

♦ All match officials have been appointed to at least three pool matches and with matches taking place across 12 venues the length and breadth of Japan, the appointments reflect the need for optimal load management, including preparation, travel and recovery time said World Rugby in a statement.

The appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee comprising Chairman Anthony Buchanan (Council member), Joel Jutge (EPCR), Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR), Nick Mallett (former international coach) and Alain Rolland (World Rugby).

Some changes to release issued by SA Rugby Communications