Rugby World Cup: Wayne Barnes to referee Ireland v Scotland

All officials for pool fixtures announced on Friday with Nigel Owens reffing opener

Wayne Barnes will referee Ireland's opening Rugby World Cup fixture against Scotland on Sunday September 22nd.

Barnes is a familiar face for the Ireland players, with the English referee most recently taking the whistle in the victory over the All Blacks in Dublin last November.

Australia's Angus Gardner will officiate Ireland's second pool fixture against hosts Japan before another familiar face - France's Jérôme Garcès - is in charge for the third clash against Russia.

Ireland's final pool game - against Samoa on October 12th - will be officiated by Australia's Nic Berry.


Meanwhile Nigel Owens, who refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, will get the 2019 tournament underway when he takes charge of the opening game between Japan and Russia in Tokyo on September 20th.

World Rugby unveiled the officials for the pool stage of the 44-day tournament on Friday, with all 12 referees allocated at least three pool matches.

Welshman Owens, widely regarded as the best referee in the game, will be appearing in his fourth World Cup and will also take the whistle for Italy v Canada and England v Argentina.

England’s Wayne Barnes is also officiating for the fourth time, while South Africa’s Jaco Peyper is on course to take charge of his 50th international - Japan v Samoa on October 5th.

Luke Pearce, Mathieu Raynal, Ben O'Keeffe, Nic Berry and Angus Gardner are making their Rugby World Cup debuts as part of a team of 23 officials for the 48 matches, culminating in the final on November 2nd.

Ireland’s officials for Rugby World Cup pool stages

Sunday September 22nd: Ireland v Scotland (International Stadium, Yokohama)

Referee Wayne Barnes (England)

Assistant 1 Pascal Gauzere (France)

Assistant 2 Alexandre Ruiz (France)

TMO Graham Hughes (England)

Saturday September 28th: Japan v Ireland (Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa)

Referee Angus Gardner (Australia)

Assistant 1 Jerome Garces (France)

Assistant 2 Matthew Carley (England)

TMO Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Thursday October 3rd: Ireland v Russia (Kobe Misaki Stadium)

Referee Jerome Garces (France)

Assistant 1 Mathieu Raynal (France)

Assistant 2 Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

TMO Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Saturday October 12th: Ireland v Samoa (Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium)

Referee Nic Berry (Australia)

Assistant 1 Romain Poite (France)

Assistant 2 Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

TMO Rowan Kitt (England)