Referee Possibles for World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is upon us soon and that means that match officials will be named to act as referees, assistant referees, TMOs and citing officials.
We shall start with the referees, because that’s a hard enough task. We shall choose a dozen as that was the number previously appointed.
Who will they be?
World Rugby’s referee selectors met on 27 March to see about such a selection.
Let’s look at the possibles.
First, let’s take it as a given that Nigel Owens and Jaco Peyper will be there, and then consider others.
Let’s start with referees that make up various top competitions, a kind of short list of those available, considering it unlikely that there will be referees chosen from Canada, the USA, Japan and Fiji though there could well be assistant referees from those countries.
Super Rugby: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Nic Berry, Angus Gardner, Damon Murphy (Australia) Nick Briant, Mike Fraser, Glen Jackson), Ben O’Keeffe, Brendon Pickerill, Paul Williams (New Zealand) and AJ Jacobs, Jaco Peyper, Rasta Rasivhenge, Egon Seconds, Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa).
PRO14: Nigel Owens, Ian Davies, Ben Whitehouse and Dan Jones (Wales), John Lacey, George Clancy, Andrew Brace, David Wilkinson and Frank Murphy (Ireland), Marius Mitrea (Italy), Stuart Berry and Quinton Immelman (South Africa) and Mike Adamson (Scotland).
England’s Premiership: Wayne Barnes, Matthew Carley, Sara Cox, Karl Dickson, JP Doyle, Tom Foley, Simon Harding, Andrew Jackson, Greg MacDonald, Craig Maxwell-Keys, John Meredith, Luke Pearce, Dean Richards, Christophe Ridley, Ian Tempest, Tim Wigglesworth
Top 14: Jérôme Garcès, Pascal Gaüzère, Romain Poite, Mathieu Raynal, Vincent Blasco-Baqué, Pierre Brousset, Maxime Chalon, Thomas Charabas, Julien Castaignède, Adrien Descottes, Jonathan Dufort, Cédric Marchat, Sébastien Minery, Alexandre Ruiz, Tual Trainini.
We could draw up a list of possibles from these four groups, such as Wayne Barnes, Jérôme Garcès and, Romain Poite who have experience. And then we have five.
Others who seem in favour are Angus Gardner, who was World Rugby’s Referee of the Year in 2018, Paul Williams who “did” the Calcutta Cup match so well, Ben O’Keeffe, Luke Pearce, Glen Jackson and Nic Berry.
And then we have 11.
That leaves one last place on our list. Federico Anselmi would mean a chance for a referee from the Americas and then there are two South Africans Rasta Rasivhenge and Marius van der Westhuizen who have been refereeing so well in Super Rugby.
So here are our 12 good men and true. They are entirely our own choice and not entirely in step with the steps we have above.
In alphabetical order
Wayne Barnes, Nic Berry, Angus Gardner, Jérôme Garcès, Pascal Gaüzère, Glen Jackson, Ben O’Keeffe, Nigel Owens, Jaco Peyper, Romain Poite, Mathieu Raynal, Marius van der Westhuizen, Paul Williams.