Ref’s for Boks RWC pool matches named

Wayne Barnes from England will be the referee in the Springboks’ opening game of their Rugby World Cup title defence against Wales on 11 September, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the Match Official appointments for the 40 pool matches at RWC 2011 in New Zealand.

Apart from Barnes, the Springboks’ other RWC games will be refereed by Romain Poite from France (vs Fiji, 17 September), George Clancy from Ireland (vs Namibia, 22 September) and Nigel Owens from Wales (vs Samoa, 30 September).

Furthermore, the three South African officials appointed to RWC duty, Craig Joubert, Jonathan Kaplan and Shaun Veldsman, have been handed a number of appointments across the 40 pool matches.

Joubert and Kaplan will each referee four pool games, as is the case with all 10 referees appointed for the RWC. Added to that, Joubert will be assistant referee in a further three games, while Kaplan has been appointed to assist in four.

Veldsman is the television match official in 10 pool games.

The appointments were made by the IRB’s Match Official Selection Committee chaired by IRB Council Member David Pickering.

Joubert, Clancy, Poite, Dave Pearson (England) and Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand) will all be making their Rugby World Cup Refereeing debuts during the Pool stages, while Kaplan and Steve Walsh (Australia) will be officiating at their fourth tournament.

“In selecting a streamlined referee panel we are committed to an approach that promotes consistency and ensures that the best referees are selected for the world’s best teams playing in rugby’s premier tournament,” said Pickering.

“Each referee will take charge of four matches during the pool phase allowing for a comprehensive review of performances by the Selection Committee. A total of 10 of the 21 Match Officials will be retained for the knock-out stages.”

Earlier this month the IRB announced that Clancy will take charge of the opening Rugby World Cup 2011 match between hosts New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland on September 9, with Joubert one of the assistant referees.

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