IRB announce international match appointments
May 9, 2008

The International Rugby Board today announced the composition of the specialist international referee, touch judge and television match official panels for 2008/09 and the appointments for Test matches until July 6.

The selection of the three panels was made by the IRB's Match Official Selection Committee at its meeting in Dublin after a comprehensive review of international match official performance over the past six months since the end of Rugby World Cup 2007 in France. From that review the composition of the international referee and touch judge and television match official appointments for upcoming Tests was determined.

Appointments for the remainder of July and August, including the Tri-Nations, will be announced shortly. However, the IRB has confirmed that England's Wayne Barnes will take charge of South Africa versus Argentina on August 9. The Test match will mark the 90th birthday celebrations of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

There are notable changes to the IRB International Referees Panel. A total of 19 referees make up the panel with Matt Goddard (Australia) and Mark Lawrence (South Africa) returning, while Ireland's George Clancy is included for the first time.

The IRB Touch Judge Panel comprises 23 match officials, with 11 Unions represented. The panel also includes the promising Fijian James Bolabiu who impressed at last year's IRB Under 19 World Championship and who refereed the final of this year's IRB Sevens World Series Tournament in Hong Kong.

"One of the highlights of Rugby World Cup 2007 in France was the performance of the specialist touch judges who presided over the pool stages. Just as elite referees require specialist skill sets to perform their role, so do touch judges and we feel that the creation of a dedicated international touch judge panel will promote greater consistency at the top of the Game," said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O'Brien.

For the first time the IRB has also appointed a specialist panel of seven television match officials who will preside over Test matches during the period.

"Previously IRB appointed referees and touch judges have undertaken the role of TMO at Test matches, and have performed well. However, the role is a specialist one in its own right, requiring unique attributes, and in moving forward we believe that the creation of a dedicated panel will lead to greater consistency at Test match level," added O'Brien.

Click here for the international referee panel

Click here for the international touch judge/TMO panel

Click here for the international match appointments

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.