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SA's Peyper and Jonker get World Cup gig

NEWS: It has been a big week for South African referee Jaco Peyper.

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Fresh from officiating the United Rugby Championship quarterfinal clash between the Bulls and Stormers, and being named the first South African to officiate a Champions Cup final, Peyper has now been selected to officiate at the 2023 World Cup.

Peyper and fellow South African,  Marius Jonker have been included in the team of match officials at the World Cup 2023 in France later this year.

A total of  26 Match Officials (12 referees, seven assistant referees and seven Television Match Officials) representing nine nations with more than 630 test appearances between them, will take charge of the 48 tournament matches.

The 42-year-old Peyper, who has 61 Tests to his name and was appointed to handle the Champions Cup final in Dublin on May 20, will referee at his third consecutive World Cup.

Jonker, 54, who has 30 Tests and 53 Test TMO appointments to his name, will be involved in his third World Cup tournament – one as referee and one as a TMO.

In an experienced referee group, Wayne Barnes (England), holder of the most Test appearances (102), will officiate in a fifth-straight World Cup in the country in which he debuted in 2007, while Nika Amashukeli will make history as the first Georgian to officiate at a World Cup.

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World Cup 2017 final referee Joy Neville (Ireland) becomes the first woman to officiate at a men’s World Cup, taking her place as TMO. Fellow TMO Ben Whitehouse (Wales) will follow in the footsteps of his father Nigel, who was an assistant referee and TMO at RWC 2003.

The nine nations represented on the panel are Australia, England, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales, with a total of 453 tests among the 12 referees (eight have refereed at an RWC).

The appointments for the RWC pool phase will be announced after the completion of the Rugby Championship and World Cup preparation matches.

2023 match official panel

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Referees: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), Wayne Barnes (England), Nic Berry (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Matthew Carley (England), Karl Dickson (England), Angus Gardner (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Luke Pearce (England), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Mathieu Raynal (France), Paul Williams (New Zealand).

Assistant Referees: Chris Busby (Ireland), Pierre Brousset (France), James Doleman (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales), Andrea Piardi (Italy), Christophe Ridley (England), Jordan Way (Australia).

Television Match Officials: Brett Cronan (Australia), Tom Foley (England), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Brian MacNeice (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Ben Whitehouse (Wales).

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