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By ARU Media Unit
The countdown to the highly anticipated 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia has reached 70 days and to mark the milestone ARU and IRB today announced the men who will oversee proceedings.
New Zealand’s Chris Pollock, South Africa’s Craig Joubert and France’s Romain Poite have been appointed as the referees for the three Test series.
Pollock will referee the first Test in Brisbane on 22 June, Joubert will take charge of the second Test in Melbourne on 29 June and Poite will oversee the final Test in Sydney on 6 July.
Australia’s Steve Walsh has also been selected amongst the whistle blowers for the nine-game Tour, appointed to the Lions match against Combined Country in Newcastle on 11 June.
ARU CEO, Bill Pulver, congratulated all of the match officials appointed to the Lions Tour.
“The scarcity of a British & Irish Lions Tour makes these appointments quite an honour,” Mr Pulver said.
“The referees selected to oversee the biggest Rugby event outside of the Rugby World Cup have been handed a fantastic opportunity and one that they are deserving of.
“They have been selected by a highly respected panel of former elite referees on the basis of their performances in recent months.
“I want to especially congratulate our Australian referees, Steve Walsh, Angus Gardner, James Leckie and Matt Goddard on their appointments to a number of the Tour matches.
“Walsh, Gardner and Goddard will also be involved in the match the Lions will play against the Barbarians enroute to Australia.”
Appointments for nine of the ten matches were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee following a comprehensive review of performances during the recent Six Nations and other fixtures.
The final appointment, the Combined Country match, was made by ARU.
Other referees who will take charge of matches during the month long Tour include Glen Jackson (NZRU), Jaco Peyper (SARU) and Jérôme Garcès (FFR).
IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman, IRB Council Member and former Scotland and British & Irish Lions flanker John Jeffery said the British & Irish Lions tour will be one of the highlights of 2013 and looks set to be another hard-fought and compelling series.
“The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the Game,” Mr Jeffery said.
“The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance and following a comprehensive selection process, the committee has appointed three highly experienced match referees for the Test series.”
ASSISTANT REFEREE 1
ASSISTANT REFEREE 2
Lions v Force
Glen Jackson (NZRU)
Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Garratt Williamson (NZRU)
Lions v Reds
Jérôme Garces (FFR)
Lions v Combined Country
Steve Walsh (ARU)
Angus Gardner (ARU)
James Leckie (ARU)
Matt Goddard (ARU)
Lions v Waratahs
Lions v Brumbies
Craig Joubert (SARU)
Lions v Qantas Wallabies
Chris Pollock (NZRU)
Romain Poite (FFR)
Vinny Munro (NZRU)
Lions v Rebels
Ben Skeen (NZRU)