12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The previous final referees were: 1987 - Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia); 1991 - Derek Bevan (Wales); 1995 - Ed Morrison (England); 1999 - Andre Watson (South Africa); 2003 - Andre Watson (South Africa).
The Dublin-born mortgage broker has refereed four games at the 2007 tournament already - the Wales v Canada, France v Namibia and England v Tonga games in the pool stages, as well as last Saturday's quarter-final between England and Australia in Marseille.
This is Rolland's second World Cup - he was involved at the 2003 tournament. His most high profile appointment four years ago was the quarter-final clash of England and Wales.
The closest an Irish official previously came to refereeing a World Cup final was back in 1991 when Ulster's Stephen Hilditch was chosen to be the man in the middle for that year's third-fourth place play-off between New Zealand and Scotland.
Hilditch, who is on assessor duty at the current World Cup, also refereed the England-New Zealand semi-final at the 1995 tournament.
Congratulations to Alain on his appointment for the final, and to his colleague, Alan Lewis who, after refereeing yesterday's quarter-final tie between South Africa and Fiji, has been selected as one of the touch judges for next Sunday's South Africa-Argentina semi-final in Paris.
ALAIN ROLLAND (IRELAND):
Full name: Alain Colm Pierre Rolland
Born: Dublin, August 22, 1966
First Test: Wales v Romania on September 19, 2001
Latest Test: England v Australia on October 6, 2007
Number of Tests: 30
World Cup experience: 2003 and 2007. He has refereed seven World Cup matches to date.
Trivia: Rolland won the first of his three caps for Ireland in their 20-18 defeat of Argentina at Lansdowne Road on October 27, 1990. He also appeared as a replacement against the United States in 1994 and Italy the following year. At club level, he played for Blackrock College and also made 40 appearances for Leinster.
Rolland retired as a player when the professional era began to dawn and turned to refereeing instead with his first Test appointment coming on September 19, 2001 when Wales beat Romania 81-9 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Born in Dublin with a French father, he made his Six Nations debut six months later when France beat Scotland 22-10 at Murrayfield with his Tri-Nations bow coming in July 2003 with New Zealand's record 52-16 defeat of South Africa.
Meanwhile, the officials for the two World Cup semi-finals next weekend have also been announced. South Africa's Jonathan Kaplan will take charge of Saturday's semi-final between France and England, while Steve Walsh of New Zealand will referee Sunday's second last-four match-up between South Africa and Argentina.
The referee for the third-fourth place play-off match on Friday, October 19, will be Paul Honiss of New Zealand.
England v France (semi-final - October 13)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch Judges: Paul Honiss (New Zealand), Marius Jonker (South Africa)
4: Nigel Owen (Wales); 5: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Television Match Official: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
South Africa v Argentina (semi-final - October 14)
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Touch Judges: Alan Lewis (Ireland), Chris White (England)
4: Joel Jutge (France); 5: Wayne Barnes (England)
Television Match Official: Tony Spreadbury (England)
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