Referee Jaco Peyper was not considered for a World Cup semi-final appointment after an “inappropriate” picture of him with Welsh fans appeared on social media.
World Rugby investigated the circumstances around South African official Peyper appearing to mock the elbow to the head that earned France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina a red card against quarter-final opponents Wales on Sunday.
Peyper sent Vahaamahina off for striking Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright in the face. A photograph then emerged on social media showing him posing with Welsh fans and playfully landing an elbow on to the head of one.
In a statement, the governing body said: “World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend.
Peyper recognises that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologised.
Peyper could only have been in contention for a role in the England versus New Zealand semi-final, as South Africa are playing Wales in the other game. Welshman Nigel Owens will take charge of England v the All Blacks, with France’s Jerome Garces officiating Wales versus South Africa.
Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde will remain with the team at the World Cup despite the death of his mother Diana McBryde was informed of the news prior to Wales’ quarter-final win over France, the Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed.
McBryde said: “I have received great support from the team and management out here and with the support from my family back home it allows me to remain in Japan. My mother was my biggest fan and as with any parent, she would want the best for me, so I know I am where she would want me to be.”