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The International Rugby Board has announced the match official appointments for The Rugby Championship 2013, the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers between Canada and USA and the Bledisloe Cup match in October.
Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting during the IRB Junior World Championship in France and follow a detailed review of recent performances during a busy June international window.
The Rugby Championship, which kicks off on August 17 and concludes on October 5, will provide the backdrop to the debut of the new ‘crouch, bind, set’ scrum engagement trial aimed at enhancing player welfare and boosting scrum stability following a request from SANZAR. Referees will also be instructed to ensure that the scrum is static before the ball is put into the scrum and that the ball goes in straight.
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VIEW THE MATCH OFFICIAL APPOINTMENT LIST HERE >>
Rugby World Cup 2011 final referee Craig Joubert will officiate the first match under the trial sequence when he takes charge of Australia v New Zealand on August 17. It will be the first of 12 matches in the southern hemisphere’s premier international tournament.
The full list of referees for The Rugby Championship 2013 is: 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.
The Rugby Championship, the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers between Canada and USA will be the only senior international events to operate the new trial ahead of global implementation at all levels at the start of the next northern and southern hemisphere seasons.
Joubert will referee the Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia on October 19 while the home and away Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification matches between Canada and USA will see Leighton Hodges (WRU) manage USA v Canada on August 17 and JP Doyle (RFU) take charge of Canada v USA on August 24.
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.”
The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the Game. The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance.
The selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.