Springboks spared Poite as Rugby Championship refs named

Cape Town - Angus Gardner of Australia will referee two of the Springboks’ six Tests during the Rugby Championship.

Gardner is set to take the whistle when South Africa take on Argentina in Mendoza and New Zealand in Pretoria.

The Springboks’ remaining four Tests will be refereed by Ben O’Keeffe from New Zealand (against Argentina in Durban), his fellow-Kiwi Glen Jackson (against Australia in Brisbane), experienced Welshman Nigel Owens (against New Zealand in Wellington) and Jerome Garces of France (against Australia in Port Elizabeth).

South African referee Jaco Peyper has been awarded two Tests during the tournament, while three of his compatriots will also be involved as match officials.

Peyper will referee the opening Test of the competition between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, as well as the encounter between Argentina and Australia in Salta.

He also has two appointments as assistant referee.

Marius van der Westhuizen (AR in three matches), Rasta Rasivhenge (AR in one match) and Marius Jonker (TMO in three matches) will also be involved in the competition.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan said: “With the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, we are striving to ensure that, once again, we have a top-class group of experienced officials ready to perform at the highest level in Japan 2019.

“The Rugby Championship is an exciting tournament that brings with it a suitable environment for reviewing match official performances as they officiate high pressure and intense Test rugby matches.

“An experienced group of match officials and TMOs have been appointed for this year’s Championship with the focus on clear and consistent decision-making from officials as teams compete for the coveted Rugby Championship title.”