South Africa’s Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper were included on the list of eight referees that will officiated in the forthcoming Castle Rugby Championship.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) announced the match official appointment on Friday. Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee following a detailed review of performances during the recent June tours and tests.
The eight referees for the Castle Rugby Championship are Alain Rolland (Ireland), Steve Walsh (Australia), Nigel Owens (Wales), Romain Poite (France), Wayne Barnes (England), George Clancy (Ireland), Joubert and Peyper.
The referees will also undertake assistant referee duties alongside a group of up-and-coming referees who have earned their place owing to their performances in recent tests and at the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa.
The Springboks’ six matches in the Castle Rugby Championship will be handled by Walsh (both tests against Argentina, in Cape Town and Mendoza), Owens (Australia in Perth), Clancy (New Zealand in Dunedin) and Rolland (both home tests against Australia and New Zealand).
The two South African referees will travel to Argentina for the Pumas’ tests against New Zealand in La Plata (Peyper) and Australia in Rosario (Joubert).
IRB Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien said: “The goal across all aspects of international officiating is consistency and a highlight for us has been the partnership with our Unions in focusing on bringing through the next crop of referees who will be in contention for a place at Rugby World Cup 2015. This was very evident at the recent IRB Junior World Championship where the guys showed a good account of themselves.”
Sanzar Chief Executive Greg Peters said: “It is great to see the top match officials in the world appointed for the first edition of The Rugby Championship this year. This is testament to the hard work that the IRB Match Official Selection Committee has undertaken in identifying the top performers from the northern and southern hemispheres. The scene is well and truly set for the new preeminent southern hemisphere rugby tournament.”
The new selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.