Jaco Peyper. Picture: REUTERS
Jaco Peyper. Picture: REUTERS

Jaco Peyper will be SA’s sole referee at Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019 in Japan after the list of officials was released by World Rugby.

Marius Jonker will attend the tournament as a specialist television match official (TMO).

Peyper is part of the 23-person squad of match officials selected to take charge of the 48 matches‚ which runs from September 20 to November 2.

“Team 21” — the 21st tournament team — comprises of 12 referees‚ seven assistant referees and four TMOs representing nine nations.

“Team 21” has 804 Tests under its collective belt‚ as either referees‚ assistant referees or TMOs.

This will be the second RWC tournament appearance for Peyper‚ who made his debut appearance at the 2015 edition in the UK. He recently became only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Super Rugby matches when he was in charge of the Trans-Tasman clash between the Crusaders and Brumbies in Christchurch.

Peyper has handled 46 Test matches‚ including the series between the All Blacks and British & Irish Lions in 2017.

In 2018 he was named SA Referee of the Year for a third time. He refereed his fourth Currie Cup final in Cape Town in 2018.

Jonker made his debut at first-class level in 2003 and quickly rose to take charge of his first Test match in 2005. In all‚ he refereed in 24 Test matches, the last of them in 2011, and was also a member of the officials’ panel at the 2007 RWC Cup in France.

Though he retired from refereeing in 2014‚ he continued to be part of the refereeing community as a TMO.

Mark Alexander‚ president of SA Rugby‚ congratulated Peyper and Jonker on their appointments.

“The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle event of our sport and to have two of our officials on the refereeing panel is a very good achievement‚” said Alexander.

World Rugby’s match official selection committee selected the match officials following a comprehensive review of performances and fitness.

Anthony Buchanan‚ World Rugby’s match official selection committee chair‚ added: “The group selected for Rugby World Cup 2019 contains a strong mix of experience and proven young talent and we have every confidence that they will be well prepared and ready to perform at the highest possible level at Japan 2019.”

The 2019 RWC match officials are:

Referees (12): Wayne Barnes (Eng)‚ Luke Pearce (Eng)‚ Jérôme Garcès (Fra)‚ Romain Poite (Fra)‚ Pascal Gaüzère (Fra)‚ Mathieu Raynal (Fra)‚ Nigel Owens (Wal)‚ Jaco Peyper (SA)‚ Ben O’ Keeffe (NZ)‚ Paul Williams (NZ)‚ Nic Berry (Aus) and Angus Gardner (Au) — 457 Tests

Assistant referees (seven): Matthew Carley (Eng‚ reserve referee)‚ Karl Dickson (Eng)‚ Andrew Brace (Ire)‚ Brendon Pickerill (NZ)‚ Federico Anselmi (Arg)‚ Shuhei Kubo (Jpn) and Alex Ruiz (Fra) — 130 Tests as assistant referees.

TMOs (four): Graham Hughes (Eng)‚ Rowan Kitt (Eng)‚ Ben Skeen (NZ) and Marius Jonker (SA) — 217 Tests as TMOs.