IRB announces referee panel for The Rugby Championship

By SANZAR News Service

The IRB has announced a panel of 10 referees for The Rugby Championship:

Craig Joubert (SARU), Chris Pollock (NZRU), Jaco Peyper (SARU), Steve Walsh (ARU), Alain Rolland (IRFU), Jerome Garces (FFR), George Clancy (IRFU), Romain Poite (FFR), Nigel Owens (WRU) and Wayne Barnes (RFU). Peyper and Garces will referee two matches each. [See the full set of appointments here]

The Rugby Championship gets underway at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on August 17 when the Wallabies and the All Blacks lock horns before the Springboks host the Pumas at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on the same day.

IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said, “The match official selections have been made after careful consideration of performances during a busy June window and we continue to apply the best-for-best principle, while also keeping one eye on the future to ensure the best-possible panel for Rugby World Cup 2015.

“The selection for The Rugby Championship will also see our officials operate the new scrum engagement sequence trial which will also feature strict application of a stable platform before the ball enters the tunnel and a clear commitment to ensuring a straight feed. We are working in collaboration with the match officials and all our Unions to ensure that everyone is well prepared for the transition.

“As part of the selection system we continue to consult with coaches and teams and I would like to thank the Unions for their feedback, dedication and full support of the process.”

Apart from Jeffrey, the IRB Match Official Selection Committee comprises former elite referees Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Tappe Henning (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (European Rugby Cup), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joel Jutge.

The committee meets four times a year and makes selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed in advance of selection.

The opening match in Sydney will be the first under the scrum engagement trial and will be officiated by Rugby World Cup 2011 Final referee, Craig Joubert. The referees for The Rugby Championship are as follows, with a full roster including assistants and TMOs viewable here.

ROUND 1 – August 17

Australia v New Zealand – Craig Joubert
South Africa v Argentina – Chris Pollock

ROUND 2 – August 24

New Zealand v Australia – Jaco Peyper
Argentina v South Africa – Steve Walsh

ROUND 3 – September 7

Australia v South Africa – Alain Rolland
New Zealand v Argentina – Jerome Garces

ROUND 4 – September 14

Australia v Argentina – George Clancy
New Zealand v South Africa – Roman Poite

ROUND 5 – September 28

South Africa v Australia – Jerome Garces
Argentina v New Zealand – Jaco Peyper

ROUND 6 – October 6

South Africa v New Zealand – Nigel Owens
Argentina v Australia – Wayne Barnes