Officials Named For 2019 Rugby World Cup

Get To Know Legendary Referee Nigel Owens

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

With the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the 40 matches that comprise the tournament’s pool stage. 

Nigel Owens will have the honor of refereeing the opening match at Rugby World Cup 2019 as hosts Japan take on Russia at Tokyo Stadium on 20 September, kicking-off a 44-day global celebration of rugby.

Watch 12 Rugby World Cup Warmup Test Matches Through August And September
LIVE on FloRugby

South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will mark a major milestone when he takes charge of Japan versus Samoa at the City of Toyota Stadium on 5 October. Should he referee all scheduled test matches prior to the match, he will make his 50th test appearance. 

Luke Pearce, Mathieu Raynal, Ben O’Keeffe, Nic Berry, and Angus Gardner are making their Rugby World Cup debut with the whistle after impressive performances in the test arena, and each will take charge of the debut matches within the opening four days. 


All match officials have been appointed to at least three pool matches and with matches taking place across 12 venues the length and breadth of Japan, the appointments reflect the need for optimal load management, including preparation, travel and recovery time.

The appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee comprising Chairman Anthony Buchanan (Council member), Joel Jutge (EPCR), Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR), Nick Mallett (former international coach and Rugby Committee Member) and Alain Rolland (World Rugby). 

With significant strength in depth in international officiating, the team was selected on merit after a comprehensive review of performances and features an exciting and strong blend of experience and youth and follows a hugely productive match officials camp in Japan last week focusing on team culture, processes,

See all the appointments here.

USA Pool match referee appointments:

USA vs England, Sept 26: Nic Berry (Australia)

USA vs France, Oct 2: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)

USA vs Argentina, Oct 9: Paul Williams (New Zealand)

USA vs Tonga, Oct 13: Nigel Owens (Wales)

The appointments for the knock-out stages will be made after the pool stage. Match officials are not permitted to officiate matches involving their host nation in addition to being passage neutral.

“We are building strong momentum towards Rugby World Cup 2019, and I am delighted to say that there is a very strong team ethic across the match officials group, a superb culture and a determination to perform at their best at Asia’s first Rugby World Cup," said World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan.

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) – 457 tests as referees

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) – 130 tests as assistant referees

TMOs (four):
Graham Hughes (England)Rowan Kitt (England), Ben Skeen (New Zealand) and Marius Jonker (South Africa) – 217 tests as TMOs



England, Wales Name Lineups For Saturday Rematch

Miss Pass: It All Starts Now

England and Wales meet for the second time in six days this Saturday at the Principality stadium in Cardiff at 9:15 am (ET). 

FloRugby's Dream Teams From Club 7s Championships

Top Tries From 2019 Club 7s

FloRugby's Dream Teams for the USA Rugby Club 7s Championships are out.

Weekend Watch Guide: Summer Tests Series Heats Up

Miss Pass: It All Starts Now

This weekend, there are two huge fixtures on tap LIVE and On Demand here on FloRugby!

Can Scotland Take Down France?

Former Scotland captain John Barclay will make his first start for his country in almost a year-and-a-half as the Men from the North take on France Saturday.

Eagles Whose Stock Went Up

Will Hooley Is A Sore Loser

With the Pacific Nations Cup finished, the USA National Team has just one more game until the Rugby World Cup kicks off.

France Gets World Cup Journey Underway

Head coach Jacques Brunel has announced his side for Saturday's clash with Scotland as the two sides begin their quests to the Webb Ellis Cup this autumn in Japan. 

Competition For RWC Spots Stiff In Ireland Camp

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Ireland got that one game out of the way and now the one team from the British Isles that hasn't ever made the Rugby World Cup semis is hoping this will be the year.

"It's Probably One Of My Least Favorite Times" -- Jones

England coach Eddie Jones believes off-field problems will be part and parcel of his side's Rugby World Cup campaign after his surprise move in leaving out center Ben Te'o from his squad for Japan.

USA Coaches Tells Us What They Liked At Club 7s

All Blue Evan Hoese Soon To Be An Eagle

USA sevens team coaches Chris Brown and Mike Friday were on hand to watch the USA Rugby Club 7s Championships, and overall liked what they saw.

AJ Injury Not Serious, Civetta Comeback Possible

USA Rugby has released an announcement on flyhalf AJ MacGinty, who left Saturday's game against Japan early due to an injury.