Jerome Garces was also in charge of the 2015 World Cup semi-final between the Springboks and the All Blacks. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

French referee Jerome Garces has been appointed to the plum opening round Rugby World Cup showdown between the Springboks and the All Blacks.

World Rugby unveiled the match officials on Friday for the pool stage of the 2019 edition in Japan, with Garces taking charge of the Bok opener at the Yokohama International Stadium on Saturday, 21 September.

Garces’ countryman, Romain Poite, will be one of the assistant referees, and he will be joined by England’s Karl Dickson.

Garces was also the referee in the last Bok World Cup match against the All Blacks, the 2015 semi-final, which the Kiwis won 20-18.

Another Frenchman, Mathieu Raynal, will blow the whistle for the Boks’ second World Cup match against Namibia at the City of Toyota Stadium on 28 September, while England’s Wayne Barnes was appointed for the next game against Italy at Shizuoka Stadium on 4 October.

The Boks’ last pool clash against Canada will be handled by another Englishman, Luke Pearce, on 8 October in Kobe.

South African Jaco Peyper’s first World Cup match in the middle will take place on 28 September when Argentina face Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium.

The Boks won’t encounter Garces before the World Cup, but they will have Poite in the middle for their final Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Salta on 10 August.

New Zealander Paul Williams will be the man with the whistle for Saturday’s game against the Wallabies at Ellis Park, with Australian Nic Berry in charge for the All Black Test in Wellington next weekend.


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