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Polarising referee figure Poite hangs up his Test whistle

NEWS: Love him or hate him, you most certainly have an opinion on referee Romain Poite.


The popular Frenchman takes charge of Scotland versus Australia at Murrayfield, bringing the curtain down on a career that has seen him oversee 72 Test matches.

The 46-year-old, who made his debut in 2006, is third on the all-time list of test match appearances behind Nigel Owens (100) and Wayne Barnes (96).

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A former police officer, Poite will be remembered for his unique approach to refereeing and his often inadvertently funny style of interacting with players on the pitch.

Poite has featured at every Rugby World Cup since New Zealand 2011 and has taken charge of multiple European and domestic finals during an illustrious international career that began with Morocco versus Namibia in a Rugby World Cup 2007 qualifier.


World Rugby Vice-Chairman Bernard Laporte said: “On behalf of World Rugby I would like to express my gratitude to Romain Poite. To serve as a test rugby referee for more than 15 years is not easy. He has always been dedicated to being the best he can be on the field, while being a committed and valued team player away from the match. I would like to wish him all the best.”

World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge added: “Romain has been a dedicated and popular member of the World Rugby match officials team for more than 15 years and a superb servant to international match officiating. I would like to wish him all the best as he embarks on a new chapter in his life and thank him for his contribution, both as a match official and mentor to young international referees.”

It’s not the end of Poite as a referee, as he will continue to officiate at a domestic level in France and at European level.

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