IRFU international referees Alain Rolland and George Clancy have been selected to take charge of matches in the 2013 Rugby Championship, while their colleague John Lacey will be on duty as an assistant referee.
The match official appointments for the 2013 Rugby Championship, the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifiers between Canada and USA and the Bledisloe Cup match in October have been announced by the International Rugby Board.
The appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting during the Junior World Championship in France and follow a detailed review of recent performances during a busy June international window.
The Rugby Championship, which kicks off on August 17 and concludes on October 5, will provide the backdrop to the debut of the new ‘crouch, bind, set’ scrum engagement trial aimed at enhancing player welfare and boosting scrum stability following a request from SANZAR.
Referees will also be instructed to ensure that the scrum is static before the ball is put into the scrum and that the ball goes in straight.
2011 Rugby World Cup final referee Craig Joubert will officiate the first match under the trial sequence when he takes charge of Australia v New Zealand on August 17. It will be the first of 12 matches in the southern Hemisphere’s premier international tournament.
The full list of referees for the Rugby Championship is: Craig Joubert (SARU), Chris Pollock (NZRU), Jaco Peyper (SARU), Steve Walsh (ARU), Alain Rolland (IRFU), Jerome Garces (FFR), George Clancy (IRFU), Romain Poite (FFR), Nigel Owens (WRU) and Wayne Barnes (RFU). Peyper and Garces will referee two matches each.
The Rugby Championship, the Bledisloe Cup and the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifiers between Canada and USA will be the only senior international events to operate the new trial ahead of global implementation at all levels at the start of the next northern and southern Hemisphere seasons.
Joubert will referee the Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia on October 19, while the home and away Rugby World Cup qualification matches between Canada and USA will see Wales’ Leighton Hodges manage USA v Canada on August 17 and JP Doyle of England take charge of Canada v USA on August 24.
The full list of match official appointments can be viewed here.
IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said: “The match official selections have been made after careful consideration of performances during a busy June window and we continue to apply the best-for-best principle, while also keeping one eye on the future to ensure the best-possible panel for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“The selection for the Rugby Championship will also see our officials operate the new scrum engagement sequence trial which will also feature strict application of a stable platform before the ball enters the tunnel and a clear commitment to ensuring a straight feed.
“We are working in collaboration with the match officials and all our Unions to ensure that everyone is well prepared for the transition.
“As part of the selection system we continue to consult with coaches and teams and I would like to thank the Unions for their feedback, dedication and full support of the process.”
The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the game. The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance.
The selection system allows for movement in and out of the panel based on form and rewards the top performers and young referees who have graduated through the performance pathway ahead of the next Rugby World Cup in England.
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