Match Official appointments for RWC 2011

(RUGBYWORLDCUP.COM) Friday 29 April 2011
Match Official appointments for RWC 2011
Alain Rolland will take charge of New Zealand v France - a repeat of the inaugural Rugby World Cup final in 1987

The International Rugby Board has announced the Match Official appointments for the 40 Pool matches at Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

The appointments were made by the IRB's Match Official Selection Committee chaired by IRB Council Member David Pickering. Each of the 10 Referees selected for Rugby’s showcase tournament will take charge of four matches during the Pool phase.

George Clancy (Ireland), Dave Pearson (England), Romain Poite (France), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand) and Craig Joubert (South Africa) will all be making their Rugby World Cup Refereeing debuts during the Pool stages, while Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa) and Steve Walsh (Australia) will be officiating at their fourth tournament.


“In selecting a streamlined Referee Panel we are committed to an approach that promotes consistency and ensures that the best Referees are selected for the world’s best teams playing in Rugby’s premier tournament,” said Pickering.

“Each Referee will take charge of four matches during the Pool phase allowing for a comprehensive review of performances by the Selection Committee. A total of 10 of the 21 Match Officials will be retained for the knock-out stages.”

Earlier this month the IRB announced that Clancy will take charge of the opening Rugby World Cup 2011 match between hosts New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland on September 9.

The Irishman will lead a team of experienced officials with Joubert and Stuart Terheege (England) as Assistant Referees and Guilio De Santis (Italy) as Television Match Official.

Walsh will make his first Rugby World Cup Referee appearance representing Australia when he takes charge of France v Japan on September 10, while Poite’s first match as a RWC Referee will fall on his 36th birthday when he takes charge of the Pool D clash between Samoa and Namibia in Rotorua on September 14.

Rugby World Cup 2007 Final Referee Alain Rolland will open with the Pool C match between Australia and Italy in North Harbour on September 11. The Irishman will also take charge of New Zealand v France at Eden Park in a repeat of the inaugural Final in 1987 at the same venue.

Russia’s first ever Rugby World Cup match, which is against the USA on September 15, will be refereed by Dave Pearson, while Kaplan will preside over the final match of the Pool stages when Ireland face Italy in Pool C at the new Otago Stadium in Dunedin.