Lions Series Referees Announced


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Romain Poite and Jérôme Garcès of France and South Africa’s Jaco Peyper have been appointed to referee the three upcoming tests involving New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions in Auckland and Wellington.

The officials are three out of a total of 26 referees who will take charge of internationals in June and July with a huge number of exciting matches and tournaments on the horizon for rugby-lovers around the world.

During what is an important stage in the Rugby World Cup cycle for the further development of elite match officials, the action will start on 10 June and carry on until the conclusion of the Pacific Nations Cup on 15 July and will include nine matches where tier-one teams play tier two.

The 36-year-old Peyper, who is a veteran of 36 tests already, will take charge of the first New Zealand v Lions test in Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday 24 June for what should be a great occasion for all rugby fans in NZ.

A week later, Garcès, who has previously reffed 37 internationals, will take charge of the second test in Wellington, with Poite (53 tests) refereeing the third and final match of the series.

The appointments include the World Rugby Nations Cup 2017 in Uruguay with four referees appointed to cover those matches in Montevideo. They also include crucial Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifying matches in Rugby Americas North (USA v Canada over two legs) and in Oceania with the Pacific Nations Cup providing two qualifiers from that region.


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The selection pool for the Lions is necessarily limited, we are lucky that the French refs are on such good form at the moment
They are three great appointments

Dickie E

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I would rather the same ref did all 3 to optimise consistency and player understanding of the ref's style. If the ref has a shocker, then by all means replace him.

I don't see how the rugby experience is enhanced by rotating referees


Rugby Club Member
No great surprise. It had to be Garces and Poite, but the cupboard is looking pretty bare after that.

I don't think there's much merit in having a single referee. We were having a discussion on another thread about different refereeing styles suiting different teams and a single ref for all three matches could exacerbate that. Not that I think it'll affect the overall result in this case, mind.

Dickie E

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It is also better for the refereeing community if more than one referee gets the experience.
to some degree but that's the same as saying, if the lions run on 3 different teams over the 3 Tests, then 45 players get experience.


, Advises in England
to some degree but that's the same as saying, if the lions run on 3 different teams over the 3 Tests, then 45 players get experience.
No, it isn't.

Coaches often use fringe players from the bench to see how they go in a real international. You can't do that with referees. Provided more than one referee is thought capable, then it makes sense to try and develop all of them.


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Shame Angus Gardner didn't get an appointment. I have been thoroughly impressed with his performances this season.