South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will have the honour of refereeing the opening match at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England as the hosts take on Fiji at Twickenham to kick off 44 days of unmissable rugby action.
Peyper, who is 35 and has refereed 20 internationals to date, has been appointed to the game on 18 September and he will be joined by assistant referees John Lacey of Ireland and Stuart Berry of South Africa while another South African, Shaun Veldsman, will be television match official.
With a further seven matches taking place over the subsequent two days, there is no time for the match officials to ease their way into the tournament gently with no fewer than 22 of the 23 officials involved in some capacity that first weekend.
Click here to view the match official appointments for the pool stage.
Chairman of the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee John Jeffrey said: “With just 79 days to go, the eyes of the sports-loving world are now turning towards Rugby World Cup and as the players look forward to taking to the field in September, the same is true for the team of match officials. This is what they have been building up to over the past four years and their preparation has been excellent.
“Refereeing is a very demanding discipline, both physically and mentally, so just like the teams, they will have to be at the very top of their game if they are to feature in the closing stages of the tournament.
“Rugby World Cup is the biggest stage of all in our game so for these match officials to have been selected in the first place is a great honour and a recognition of their talent, their hard work and their commitment. As such, they can all be very proud of their achievements and I wish them all every success during the tournament.”
The appointments for the knock-out stages will be made after the pool stage.