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Rolland To Be A Lions Referee

Rolland To Be A Lions Referee

The IRB has announced the referees for the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. Alain Rolland, who took charge of the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, has been appointed to officiate in the game against the Emerging Springboks.

IRB High Performance Referee Panel members Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Christophe Berdos (France) and Stuart Dickinson (Australia) will take charge of the three Lions v South Africa Test matches.

Lawrence will take charge of the first Test in Durban on June 20, with Berdos refereeing the second Test in Pretoria on June 27 and Dickinson the third Test in Johannesburg on July 4.

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The trio will form a neutral Test panel that will also include specialist Assistant Referee Vinny Munro (New Zealand) for the first Lions Tests on South African soil for 12 years.

The appointments were made after a meeting of the IRB Referee Selection Committee, chaired by WRU Chairman David Pickering, in Dublin over the weekend.

“We met with the Lions and South Africa team management last month and all were in favour of the appointment of neutral match officials for the Test series,” said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien.

“Bryce, Christophe and Stuart are all highly experienced members of the IRB’s High Performance Referee Panel with nearly 80 internationals between them.

“They are relishing the opportunity to take their place in Lions history.”

The IRB has also announced a strong match official line-up for the seven provincial tour matches. The panel is merit-based and features IRB High Performance Referee Panel members.

South African Marius Jonker will get the series underway when the Lions play a Highveld XV in Rustenburg on May 30.

Craig Joubert (South Africa), Wayne Barnes (England), Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Mark Lawrence (South Africa) and Nigel Owens (Wales) will also take charge of provincial matches.

Ireland’s own Alain Rolland, who took charge of the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, will referee the match between the Lions and Emerging Springboks in Cape Town on June 23.

For more information on becoming a referee – click here.