World Rugby announced the match official appointments for the 63 confirmed men’s international matches on the road to the World Cup including the Springboks Test programme.
Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia) and Romain Poite (France) will be in charge of the Springboks’ Rugby Championship Tests in July and August.
Williams, Berry, Poite, Angus Gardner (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) and Jérôme Garcès (France) will be in charge of Rugby Championship matches.
South African match officials Jaco Peyper and Marius Jonker will be involved in international officiating prior to RWC in Japan.
The Boks will play five Tests before the start of the RWC – three in the abbreviated Rugby Championship, a ‘friendly’ international against Argentina and a RWC warm-up game against hosts Japan.
The 23 match officials selected for Japan 2019 will all be in action over a busy period of preparation for Rugby World Cup teams and the match officials, who will be under more scrutiny than ever.
World Rugby’s appointments cover the Rugby Championship, the World Rugby Nations Cup, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, June internationals and Rugby World Cup 2019 warm-up matches.
The appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Officials’ Selection Committee comprising Chairman Anthony Buchanan (Council member), Joel Jutge (EPCR), Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR) and Alain Rolland (World Rugby).
Williams is the man in charge when the Springboks kick off their Rugby Championship campaign against the Wallabies on 20 July at Ellis Park.
Berry will handle the much-anticipated rematch between the Springboks and All Blacks one week later, on 27 July in Wellington – the scene of South Africa’s epic win over the Kiwis last year – and Poite is the man in the middle when Rassie Erasmus’ charges face Argentina in Salta on 10 August.
The referees in the Boks’ remaining matches are Englishman Pearce (friendly against Argentina on 17 August in Pretoria), while Berry is also scheduled to referee the Springboks’ RWC warm-up encounter with Japan, which takes place on Friday, 6 September in Kumagaya.
Meanwhile, Peyper and Jonker were also handed several Test match duties. They are involved in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks on 10 August in Perth, where Peyper will be an assistant referee and Jonker the television match official (TMO).
The following week sees Peyper, South Africa’s most experience referee, take charge of the Bledisloe Cup Test between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland, with Jonker as TMO.
Peyper will carry the whistle in a big RWC warm-up match on 24 August at Twickenham between Six Nations rivals England and Ireland.
Springbok fixtures 2019
vs Australia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 20 July
vs New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington 27 July
vs Argentina at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta 10 August
vs Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria 17 August
vs Japan at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Kumagaya 6 September