The men in the middle - The RWC'07 Referees
Hugh Godwin
August 2, 2007

Ahead of this year's global showpiece we profile the officials who will be taking charge of the matches at RWC'07. Hugh Godwin writes


born: 20 April 1979, age 28

Internationals before RWC 2007: 7

International debut: Fiji v Samoa 2006

biog: Barrister in criminal law from the Forest of Dean, called to the Bar in 2002 in London, then became a full-time referee with RFU in April 2005. Began refereeing aged 15 in Gloucestershire, and joined the Norfolk and Eastern Counties Society while at the University of East Anglia, where he also played for the 1st XV. Youngest referee at the World Cup.

Last 3 Tests:

Wales v France (Cardiff, 26 Aug)
South Africa 22 Australia 19 (Cape Town, 16 Jun)
Italy 3 France 39 (Rome, 3 Feb)

RWC 2007:

New Zealand v Italy (Pool C, Marseilles, 8 Sep)
Ireland v Georgia (Pool D, Bordeaux, 15 Sep)
South Africa v Tonga (Pool A, Lens, 22 Sep)
Samoa v USA (Pool A, St Etienne, 26 Sep)


born: 19 July 1968, age 39

Internationals before RWC 2007: 33

International debut: Papua New Guinea v Tahiti 1997

biog: Sydneysider who began refereeing aged 12, combining it with playing fly-half or full-back for Epping Boys High School. Was a site manager for a transport company until going full-time with ARU in 1996. He ran touch for all three Lions Tests in New Zealand in 2005; this is his third World Cup in the middle, including Argentina's play-off win v Ireland in 1999.

Last 3 Tests:

New Zealand 33 South Africa 6 (Christchurch, 14 Jul)
New Zealand 42 France 11 (Auckland, 2 Jun)
France 3 New Zealand 47(Lyon, 11 Nov 2006)

RWC 2007:

USA v Tonga (Pool A, Montpellier, 12 Sep)
Argentina v Namibia (Pool D, Marseilles, 22 Sep)
Wales v Fiji (Pool B, Nantes, 29 Sep)


born: 18 June 1963, age 44

Internationals before RWC 2007: 41

International debut: Tahiti v Cook Islands 1997

biog: Honiss from Hamilton took up refereeing in 1987 after suffering concussion and forced to take an eight-month break in 1993 when he contracted viral meningitis. Previously a representative for the Lion Nathan Brewery and a sales manager for a golf equipment firm, this is his third World Cup. Closing in on Welshman Derek Bevan's world record 45 Tests.

Last 3 Tests:

Australia 25 South Africa 17 (Sydney, 7 Jul)
Australia 31 Wales 0 (Brisbane, 2 Jun)
Ireland 32 South Africa 15 (Dublin, 11 Nov 2006)

RWC 2007:

South Africa v Samoa (Pool A, Parc des Princes, 9 Sep)
Romania v Portugal (Pool C, Toulouse, 25 Sep)
Ireland v Argentina (Pool D, Parc des Princes, 30 Sep)


born: 19 June 1968, age 39

Internationals before RWC 2007: 9

International debut: Uganda v Zimbabwe 2005

biog: a loss control manager with a national diploma in police administration, Kimberley-born Jonker works for Bell Equipment in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, and on a part-time contract with the South African Rugby Union. Was a fly-half for Natal Country Districts. Made a rapid rise to World Cup status after refereeing his first match less than eight years ago.

Last 3 Tests:

Zambia v Uganda (Lusaka, 7 Jul)
Australia 20 New Zealand 15 (Melbourne, 30 Jun)
England 42 Scotland 20 (Twickenham, 3 Feb)

RWC 2007:

Japan v Fiji (Pool B, Toulouse, 12 Sep)
Italy v Portugal (Pool C, Parc des Princes, 19 Sep)
Scotland v New Zealand (Pool C, Murrayfield, 23 Sep)


born: 5 April 1966, age 41

Internationals before RWC 2007: 28

International debut: Italy v Romania 2000

biog: scrum-half with Colomiers (while Fabien Galthie was in their under-21 side) and Cahors, until suffering a knee injury. Worked in sales for electricity company EDF until going full-time with the FFR in 2004-05. France's 'most capped' referee oversaw the 'Hand of Back' in the 2002 Heineken Cup final and the 'dumping of O'Driscoll', All Blacks v Lions 2005.

Last 3 Tests:

England v Wales (Twickenham, 4 Aug)
South Africa 55 England 22 (Pretoria, 2 Jun)
Ireland 43 England 13 (Croke Park, 24 Feb)

RWC 2007:

Ireland v Namibia (Pool D, Bordeaux, 9 Sep)
England v South Africa (Pool A, Stade de France, 14 Sep)
Wales v Japan (Pool B, Cardiff, 20 Sep)
New Zealand v Romania (Pool C, Toulouse, 29 Sep)


born: 7 November 1966, age 40

Internationals before RWC 2007: 34

International debut: Zimbabwe v Namibia 1996

biog: South Africa's 'most capped' referee is a bachelor of social science who also has an honours degree in marketing management. Took up whistle when mum got fed up of him breaking various bones on the field. Caught up in video replay controversy when not awarding two 'tries' to England in Ireland in 2005. Refereed the Lions in Tests in 2001 and 2005.

Last 3 Tests:

Australia 29 Wales 23 (Sydney, 26 May)
Italy 24 Ireland 51 (Rome, 17 Mar)
England 26 France 18 (Twickenham, 11 Mar)

RWC 2007:

England v USA (Pool A, Lens, 8 Sep)
Samoa v Tonga (Pool A, Montpellier, 16 Sep)
Canada v Japan (Pool B, Bordeaux, 25 Sep)
Scotland v Italy (Pool C, St Etienne, 29 Sep)


born: 1 June 1964, age 43

Internationals before RWC 2007: 28

International debut: Russia v Germany 1994

biog: Born in Cork, will overtake Dave McHugh as Ireland's 'most capped' referee during the World Cup. Former fly-half for Old Wesley and international cricketer who is managing director of an insurance brokerage in Dun Laoghaire. Refereed the 2007 Heineken Cup final when Wasps beat Leicester then had the early summer off to get ready for the World Cup.

Last 3 Tests:

England v France (Twickenham, 11 Aug)
Scotland 21 Wales 9 (Murrayfield, 10 Feb)
England 14 South Africa 25 (Twickenham, 25 Nov 2006)

RWC 2007:

Australia v Japan (Pool B, Lyon, 8 Sep)
England v Samoa (Pool A, Nantes, 22 Sep)
France v Georgia (Pool D, Marseilles, 30 Sep)


born: 18 June 1971, age 36

Internationals before RWC 2007: 7

International debut: Japan v Ireland 2005

biog: occasional stand-up comedian, singer and guest on 'Jonathan' with Jonathan Davies on Welsh language channel S4C. Refereed Scotland XV v Barbarians in May 2005 before his first full international. Went full-time as a referee in December 2001; formerly a technician in design and technology at Maesyryrfa School where Dwayne Peel was a pupil.

Last 3 Tests:

Ireland v Italy (Belfast, 24 Aug)
New Zealand 26 Australia 12 (Auckland, 21 Jul)
England 20 Italy 7 (Twickenham, 10 Feb)

RWC 2007:

Argentina v Georgia (Pool D, Lyon, 11 Sep)
Scotland v Romania (Pool C, Murrayfield, 18 Sep)
Australia v Fiji (Pool B, Montpellier, 23 Sep)


born: 22 August 1966, age 40/41

Internationals before RWC 2007: 26

International debut: Wales v Romania 2001

biog: will equal Dave McHugh's previous Irish record of 29 internationals during the World Cup, though both will be just behind Alan Lewis. There again, records vary depending which nations are counted for 'internationals'! Rolland, a mortgage broker, won three caps as a scrum-half (rep v Italy 1995 and USA 1994, started v Arg 1990 with Brian Smith at fly-half).

Last 3 Tests:

France v England (Marseilles, 18 Aug)
South Africa 21 New Zealand 26 (Durban, 23 Jun)
Wales 27 England 18 (Cardiff, 17 Mar)

RWC 2007:

England v Tonga (Pool A, Parc des Princes 28 Sep)
France v Namibia (Pool D, Toulouse, 16 Sep)
Wales v Canada (Pool B, Nantes, 9 Sep)


born: 29 March 1962, age 45

Internationals before RWC 2007: 29

International debut: France XV v Italy 1990

biog: oldest referee at the World Cup; a tribute to Spreadbury's fitness and popularity. Sent off Abdel Benazzi in his first full international match, Aus v Fra 1990. Paramedic who went full-time with the RFU in June 2001, having had a break from the top level in 1999. Bath-born 'Spreaders' sings tenor in a church choir and Fra v Arg will kick off his second World Cup.

Last 3 Tests:

Scotland v Ireland (Murrayfield, 11 Aug)
Uruguay 18 Portugal 12 (Montevideo, 24 Mar)
France 32 Wales 21 (Stade de France, 24 Feb)

RWC 2007:

France v Argentina (Pool D, Stade de France, 7 Sep)
Italy v Romania (Pool C, Marseilles, 12 Sep)
Fiji v Canada (Pool B, Cardiff, 16 Sep)
South Africa v USA (Pool A, Montpellier, 30 Sep)


born: 28 March 1972, age 35

Internationals before RWC 2007: 27

International debut: Argentina v France 1998

biog: Waikato-born, went full-time in January 1998 and refereed three matches including a quarter-final at the last World Cup but served a three-day suspension after a touchline altercation during England v Samoa. Also stood down by IRB in autumn 2005 after a verbal exchange with Shane Horgan during that year's Lions tour. Youngest referee of an NPC final.

Last 3 Tests:

South Africa 58 England 10 (Bloemfontein, 26 May)
Ireland 17 France 20 (Croke Park, 11 Feb)
England 23 South Africa 21 (Twickenham, 18 Nov 2006)

RWC 2007:

Scotland v Portugal (Pool C, St Etienne, 9 Sep)
Wales v Australia (Pool B, Cardiff, 15 Sep)
Georgia v Namibia (Pool D, Lens, 26 Sep)


born: 16 July 1973, age 44

Internationals before RWC 2007: 38

International debut: Georgia v Russia 1998

biog: Cheltenham's finest is England's 'most capped' referee, and a back-handed compliment to his consistency was the furore over the bungled finish to Wales's defeat in Italy in 2007. Toured as adviser with England to Argentina in 1997 and gave up teaching to go full-time in January 1999. Has handled three Heineken Cup finals and this is his third World Cup.

Last 3 Tests:

Wales v Argentina (Cardiff, 18 Aug)
Italy 23 Wales 20 (Rome, 10 Mar)
France 11 New Zealand 23 (Stade de France, 18 Nov 2006)

RWC 2007:

New Zealand v Portugal (Pool C, Lyon, 15 Sep)
France v Ireland (Pool D, Stade de France, 21 Sep)
Australia v Canada (Pool B, Bordeaux, 29 Sep)


Christophe Berdos (FFR)
Lyndon Bray (NZRU)
Malcolm Changleng (SRU)
Federico Cuesta (ARU)
Carlo Damasco (FIR)
Kelvin Deaker (NZRU)
Craig Joubert (SARU)
Bryce Lawrence (NZRU)
Mark Lawrence (SARU)
Paul Marks (ARU)
Simon McDowell (IRFU)
Dave Pearson (RFU)
Hugh Watkins (WRU)

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