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SA's Joubert to Referee Rugby World Cup final

Article Published: Monday 17 October 2011
Edited by: Rugbyweek.com.
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SA's Joubert to Referee Rugby World Cup final

The All Blacks will have the benefit of familiarity with the referee and home advantage in the Rugby World Cup final as South African Craig Joubert will take charge of the match between New Zealand and France in Auckland on Sunday.

Joubert, who took charge of the semi-final between New Zealand and Australia at the weekend, will become only the second South African to referee rugby's showcase match, following Andre Watson who blew the 1999 and 2003 finals.

"The whole team (of tournament referees) has performed superbly, assisted each other and bonded over the course of the last six weeks and I would like to thank them for their support and best wishes," Joubert said.

"I am now really looking forward to getting out there and enjoying the occasion."

His appointment was made by the International Rugby Board's (IRB) match official selection committee on Monday following a "thorough review of performances during the knockout phase".

Joubert will be joined Alain Rolland of Ireland and Nigel Owens of Wales, the assistant referees, and Guilio de Santis of Italy, the television match official. Rolland is the reserve referee.

"The IRB match official selection committee was delighted with Craig and Alain's performances in the semi-finals," IRB referee manager Paddy O'Brien said in a statement.

Another South African, Shaun Veldsman, will be the television match official for the bronze-medal clash between Australia and Wales in Auckland on Friday.

Englishman Wayne Barnes will take charge of the match. He will be supported on the field by assistant referees Romain Poite (France) and George Clancy (Ireland).

"On behalf of the committee and all of the team I would like to congratulate Craig, Wayne and all the guys on their selection, which is entirely on merit," O'Brien said.

"We may be nearing the conclusion of what has been a truly superb Rugby World Cup, but our focus remains firmly on consistency, penalising the clear and the obvious, and tackling the 'big five' areas."

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