IRB announces match officials for November

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 10 October 2012
 IRB announces match officials for November
Part of preparing the best referees for Rugby World Cup 2015

The IRB has announced match official appointments for an exciting November international schedule that contains an unprecedented number of Tests.

With an extensive programme of competitive matches in place, including a range of fixtures for Tier Two Unions, which are part of the IRB’s Strategic Investment Programme, it gives important opportunities to talented emerging referees seeking valuable experience in the intense atmosphere of the international arena while also adhering to the policy of appointing the top referees to the highest-level matches.

In total, 19 referees have been appointed to these matches, which feature 12 IRB Strategic Investment Unions in addition to the Tier One v Tier One and Tier One v Tier Two fixtures within the international Tours and Test schedule approved by the IRB Council in 2010.

Several referees have received two Tests, including Wayne Barnes, George Clancy, Pascal Gauzere, Leighton Hodges, Glen Jackson, Nigel Owens, Francisco Pastrana, Jaco Peyper, Romain Poite and Lourens van der Merwe.

In addition, Jerome Garces, Greg Garner, Craig Joubert, John Lacey, Joaquin Montes, Mathieu Raynal, Alain Rolland, Juan Sylvestre and Steve Walsh have also been appointed.

Click here for all the November international referee appointments. 

These appointments have been announced following a thorough review of performances during the June international window and the recently concluded Rugby Championship by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, which is committed to promoting consistency in officiating.

Chairman of the selection committee and IRB Council member for Scotland John Jeffrey said: “With an unprecedented number of international matches being played over the next few weeks, it has given us the opportunity to appoint a number of up-and-coming referees to some exciting test matches.”

“It is all part of ensuring that we have the best possible match official team available for Rugby World Cup 2015 while also providing the best referees for the highest-level matches.”

A key objective of the IRB’s Strategic Investment Programme is to increase the number of international fixtures for Tier Two Unions and this has been achieved through the comprehensive fixtures programme that has been implemented for this November and which will be replicated in future years.

Jeffrey added: “While the expanded international match programme places additional pressures on the match official appointments process, it also offers the selectors the opportunity to widen the opportunities for the high performance match official group. In considering the appointments, the committee took the view that the selection criteria should be based on a strategy of selecting the current high-level performers underpinned by a growth philosophy towards having the best match official team available for selection for RWC 2015.”

At its most recent meeting in Johannesburg last week, the panel reconfirmed its commitment to the “Big Five” key priorities:

- All aspects of the tackle with particular emphasis to be placed on the tackler releasing the tackled player and rolling away and arriving players staying on their feet
- Offside at the breakdown
- Offside from kicks
- All aspects of the scrum, particularly the engagement process and front-row binding
- All aspects of the maul, particularly what constitutes legal maul defences

Sitting on the IRB Match Official Selection Committee was: John Jeffrey (Chairman), Tappe Henning, Lyndon Bray (both SANZAR), Donal Courtney, Clayton Thomas (both 6 Nations) and Joel Jutge (IRB Referee Manager). The panel meets four times per year with all performances reviewed as part of the next round of international selections.