Nigel Owens to referee Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham
Ireland’s John Lacey to take charge of bronze medal game at Olympic Stadium
Welsh referee Nigel Owens, seen here officiating the Rugby World Cup quarter-final game between New Zealand and France, will take charge of Saturday’s final between the All Blacks and Australia. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Welshman Nigel Owens has been appointed to referee next Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham, while Ireland’s John Lacey has been rise will take charge of Friday night’s bronze medal match between South Africa and Argentina.
Owens, 44, will emulate fellow Welsh referee Derek Bevan, who controlled the 1991 final – also at Twickenham – when Australia beat England.
There is no involvement for South African Craig Joubert, whose controversial late decision during the Scotland versus Australia quarter-final – he incorrectly awarded a penalty to the Wallabies that Bernard Foley kicked and secured a 35-34 win – led to World Rugby publicly stating that he had made an error.
Owens said: “This is a huge honour and a privilege for me. I am humbled to have been chosen to referee the Rugby World Cup final.
“This is my third World Cup, and I think it has been the best. It has been inspirational.
“The quality of rugby on display has been incredible in front of packed venues, and so to be given the opportunity to referee the final match between the best two teams in the tournament is an amazing honour.
“I would like to thank World Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union for their support over many years.
“There have been so many individual people throughout my career who have helped and supported me along the way, and while I can’t name everyone here, I will be thanking everyone personally in due course.
“I want to thank my friends and family for their ongoing support and for helping me through some rough times in my life.
“My dad, in particular, is always there for me and is delighted with this news - it’s just a shame my mother is not here to see this as she was a pillar of strength for me. She passed away six years ago, and I know she would have been very proud.”
Former Munster player Lacey has seen his star rise over the last few years and the 42-year-old from Tipperary has been rewarded with the bronze medal match at the Olympic Stadium, with New Zealanders Glen Jackson and Chris Pollock as his assistants.