The IRB has announced the match official appointments for a record programme of November Tests.
With the IRB committed to delivering an expanded competition schedule for Tier Two Unions in the June and November windows, the programme gives important opportunities for the next generation of international match officials to perform in the Test arena, while also maintaining the policy of appointing the top referees to the highest-level matches.
In total, 28 referees have been appointed to the November internationals. They are: Claudio Antonio (UAR), Chris Assmus (Rugby Canada), Wayne Barnes (RFU), Stuart Berry (SARU), George Clancy (IRFU), Ian Davies (WRU), JP Doyle (RFU), Mike Fraser (NZRU), Jérôme Garces (FFR), Greg Garner (RFU), Pascal Gauzere (FFR), Leighton Hodges (WRU), Glen Jackson (NZRU), Craig Joubert (SARU), John Lacey (IRFU), Lourens van der Merwe (SARU), Marius Mitrea (FIR), Joaquin Montes (URU), Nigel Owens (WRU), Francisco Pastrana (UAR), Luke Pearce (RFU), Jaco Peyper (SARU), Dudley Phillips (IRFU), Romain Poite (FFR), Chris Pollock (NZRU), Alain Rolland (IRFU), Juan Sylvestre (UAR) and Steve Walsh (ARU).
The appointments have been announced following a thorough review of performances during the June international window and the recently concluded Rugby Championship by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, which is committed to promoting consistency in officiating.
Chairman of the selection committee and IRB Council member for Scotland John Jeffrey said: “As always, we have made these selections based on performance and form. Every match is scrutinised by a performance reviewer and, importantly, by the referee himself. Selections are made by taking a close look at a number of key performances.”
“An expanded November programme offers the selectors the opportunity to deliver more appointments for the high performance match official group. In considering the appointments, the committee took the view that the selection criteria should be based on a strategy of selecting the current high-level performers underpinned by a growth philosophy towards having the best match official team available for selection for RWC 2015.”