No Irish referees selected for Rugby World Cup
Wayne Barnes and Nigel Owens are selected for their fourth consecutive tournament
Wayne Barnes is one of 12 referees selected to officiate at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland won’t have any referees at the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year following World Rugby’s confirmation of the 23 match officials selected to take charge of the 48 matches. Welsh born, former Belgium international Andrew Brace, who is affiliated to the IRFU, is one of seven assistant referees nominated.
Irish referees George Clancy and John Lacey officiated at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England but the former has been overlooked and Lacey retires at the end of the season to take a position within the IRFU.
‘Team 21’ comprises 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four Television Match Officials (TMOs) representing nine nations. The panel was selected on the strength of their performances in the last four internationals windows.
Wayne Barnes and Rugby World Cup 2015 final referee Nigel Owens are selected for their fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup as referees, while Luke Pearce, Mathieu Raynal, Ben O’Keeffe, Nic Berry and Angus Gardner are making their Rugby World Cup debuts.
Anthony Buchanan, World Rugby’s Match Official Selection Committee Chairman, added: “This selection was made on merit, on form and after a comprehensive process. With so much strength in depth, the panel was left with some tough decisions to be made across all areas. I would like to pay tribute to all the individuals involved in the process and congratulate the ‘Team 21’ squad who have been selected for Japan 2019.”
Referees (12): Wayne Barnes (England), Luke Pearce (England), Jérôme Garcès (France), Romain Poite (France), Pascal Gaüzère (France), Mathieu Raynal (France), Nigel Owens (Wales), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia) and Angus Gardner (Australia).
Assistant referees (seven): Matthew Carley (England, reserve referee), Karl Dickson (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Shuhei Kubo (Japan) and Alex Ruiz (France).
TMOs (four): Graham Hughes (England), Rowan Kitt (England), Ben Skeen (New Zealand) and Marius Jonker (South Africa).