World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the 40 matches that comprise the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool stage.
Nigel Owens will have the honour 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 and its values.
South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will mark a major milestone when he takes charge of Japan v 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 their first 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.
Ireland’s pool referees
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