Referees confirmed for Springboks’ June internationals
Matthew Carley from England will be the referee in charge of the first Springbok Test of the year, when South Africa face Wales in Washington DC in the USA on Saturday, 2 June.
World Rugby on Wednesday announced the complete list of match official appointments for the 2018 June internationals, including the officials who will be on duty during the Castle Lager Incoming Series between the Springboks and England.
The Springboks’ once-off match against Wales in the USA will be the first under new head coach Rassie Erasmus and they return home a week later to face England in the first of three home encounters.
Ben O’Keeffe of New Zealand will be the man in charge of the first Test between the Springboks and the English on 9 June at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.
Frenchman Romain Poite will officiate the second Test between a week later in Bloemfontein, while Glen Jackson, also of New Zealand, takes the whistle when the sides meet for a third and final time on 23 June at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, two South African referees will also be on international duty during the June internationals. Marius van der Westhuizen is set to take charge of the first Test between Australia and Ireland on 9 June in Brisbane, while experienced compatriot Jaco Peyer has been appointed to referee the clash between Argentina and Wales on 16 June.
South African Marius Jonker will perform television match official duties during three matches in Argentina when the Pumas face Wales (twice) and Scotland on consecutive Saturdays.
The overall appointments have been made to 28 matches, including the cross-regional Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers between Samoa and the team representing Europe.
A team of 29 referees and assistant referees and 10 TMOs have been selected on, reflecting a strong blend of experience and emerging talent as World Rugby’s Match Officials Selection Committee look towards Rugby World Cup 2019 and beyond.
According to World Rugby, all bar three of the 24 referees selected for the Tests have graduated via the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
The appointments follow a full review of the recent NatWest 6 Nations, which saw continued collaboration and dialogue between teams and match officials to ensure alignment in approach to key game areas with an emphasis on rewarding positive play.
This included renewed focus on scrum pre-engagement and crooked feeds, zero-tolerance to closing the gap and contact in the air the lineout, promotion of a fair contest at the tackle/ruck, zero-tolerance of clearing out beyond the tackle/ruck and observing of the offside line at the ruck and from restarts. This approach was endorsed at a workshop with northern and southern hemisphere coaches following the Six Nations and will continue into June.
World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan said: “We are on track in our mission to reach Rugby World Cup 2019 with the best-possible team of in-form match officials who are aligned, consistent and accurate in their decision-making, which was certainly a factor during the recent Six Nations.
“There is no doubt that the match official mini-camps that operate during major championships and windows, coupled with stronger collaboration and dialogue with coaches, is having a positive impact on the way the game is officiated, promoting consistency, accuracy and clarity for all.”
The match officials for the Springboks’ four June Tests are:
South Africa vs Wales
Date: 2 June 2018
Venue: Washington DC, USA
Referee: Matthew Carley (England); Assistants: Alexandre Ruiz (France) and Frank Murphy (Ireland); TMO: David Grashoff (England).
2018 Castle Lager Incoming Series:
First Test: South Africa vs England
Date: 9 June 2018
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ); Assistants: Romain Poite (France) and Glen Jackson (NZ); TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland).
Second Test: South Africa vs England
Date: 16 June 2018
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Romain Poite (France); Assistants: Glen Jackson (NZ) and Ben O’Keeffe (NZ); TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland).
Third Test: South Africa vs England
Date: 23 June 2018
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Glen Jackson (NZ); Assistants: Romain Poite (France) and Ben O’Keeffe (NZ); TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland).