South Africa’s Jaco Peyper has been chosen to referee the opening match of the highly anticipated Rugby World Cup 2023. The match, scheduled between France and New Zealand, will kick off the tournament in a clash of rugby giants.
World Rugby recently unveiled the complete list of match officials for all 40 pool matches, and Peyper’s appointment was met with great excitement. The team of Emirates Match Officials, comprising 12 referees, seven assistant referees, and seven television match officials, was carefully selected based on merit and represents nine different nations.
Interestingly, Peyper has previous experience in officiating opening matches, having served as the referee for the England versus Fiji opener during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. His appointment for this year’s prestigious opening match only highlights his impressive track record.
Another notable inclusion is Wayne Barnes of England, who will be participating in a record-breaking fifth Rugby World Cup. His 25th match as a referee in the tournament will see him officiating the clash between New Zealand and Uruguay.
Additionally, four referees will be making their Rugby World Cup debuts during the pool stage. Andrew Brace of Ireland, Nika Amashukeli of Georgia, Matthew Carley of England, and Karl Dickson of England will all be eager to prove themselves on the world stage.
In a groundbreaking moment for the sport, Joy Neville of Ireland will become the first female match official in the history of the men’s Rugby World Cup. She will serve as a television match official for five matches, marking a significant step forward for gender equality in the sport.
In terms of officiating technology, the Foul Play Review (Bunker) process will be implemented at the Rugby World Cup 2023 following successful trials. This will ensure fair and accurate decision-making during crucial moments of the tournament.
Graham Mourie, Chairman of the Match Officials Selection Committee, congratulated all the appointed match officials and acknowledged their hard work and sacrifices. He highlighted their dedication to the sport and their role in making the tournament a success.
Joël Jutge, World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Official Manager, expressed his pride in the officials and emphasized the strong bond, work ethic, and dedication they bring to the table. He emphasized their commitment to contributing to a memorable Rugby World Cup 2023.
For those interested in seeing the complete list of appointed referees, assistant referees, and television match officials, it has been released by World Rugby. Fans can now eagerly anticipate the kick-off of the Rugby World Cup 2023, knowing that a team of highly skilled and experienced officials will be overseeing the matches.
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