Nigel Owens in charge for key Irish RWC clash

Welshman Nigel Owens, regarded by many pundits as the world’s leading rugby union referee, has been appointed to oversee Ireland’s crucial Rugby World Cup Pool D clash with France.

Nigel Owens in charge for key Irish RWC clash

Ireland meet France on October 11 at the Millennium Stadium in a match likely to decide the pool winners. Owens will be in charge, assisted by England’s Wayne Barnes and Welshman Leighton Hodges.

New Zealand’s Glen Jackson will officiate Ireland’s opening match against Canada in Cardiff on September 19.

South Africa’s Craig Joubert will be in charge when Ireland meet Romania at Wembley on Sunday, September 27 and France’s Jerome Garces will be the man in the middle when Ireland meet Italy on October 4 at the Olympic Stadium.

Jaco Peyper will referee the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2015 between England and Fiji at Twickenham. Peyper will be assisted by John Lacey of Ireland and Stuart Berry of South Africa.

Tipperary man Lacey will be in charge when the All Blacks meet Tonga, as well as Scotland’s clash with Japan and Wales’ meeting with Fiji.

Limerick’s George Clancy officiates Samoa v USA, Italy v Canada, and Namibia v Georgia.

England’s key World Cup pool games against Wales and Australia will both be refereed by French officials.

Jerome Garces has been handed the England versus Wales clash and Garces’ fellow Frenchman Romain Poite will control England’s Twickenham appointment with Australia in early October.

Only two teams qualify from each group, meaning that either England, Wales or Australia are set to miss out on a quarter-final place.

Wales’ final group game against Australia at Twickenham has been awarded to top South African referee Craig Joubert, while England’s Wayne Barnes will be in the middle when New Zealand launch their world title defence against Argentina on September 20.

Referee appointments for the knockout phase will be made after the pool fixtures.

“Refereeing is a very demanding discipline, both physically and mentally, so just like the teams, they will have to be at the very top of their game if they are to feature in the closing stages of the tournament,” World Rugby’s match officials selection committee chairman John Jeffrey said.

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