Ben O’Keeffe will take charge of the clash between South Africa and England, after the match officials were confirmed for the World Cup semi-finals in Paris this weekend.
New Zealander O’Keeffe assumes the role of match referee at the Stade de France on Saturday. Assisting him will be Andrew Brace (Ireland) and Paul Williams (New Zealand), with Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand) serving as the TMO.
The final-four fixture will mark O’Keeffe’s first time officiating a World Cup semi-final, following his maiden experience of calling a playoff at the tournament during SA’s dramatic 29-28 victory over hosts France last week. He will also be officiating his fifth match in the competition.
In the other semi-final, Angus Gardner from Australia has been appointed to referee the tussle between Argentina and New Zealand, on Friday. His touchline team includes assistant referees Nic Berry and Karl Dickson (both from Australia), while Ben Whitehouse (Wales) assumes the role of TMO.
It’s a significant milestone for Gardner as he, too, referees a World Cup knockout match for the first time, and his fifth time officiating a clash between the All Blacks and Los Pumas.
World Rugby also announced that SA whistle-blower Jaco Peyper was not considered due to a calf injury he sustained during the Wales-Argentina quarter-final in Marseille.
Photo: Ashley Western/Colorsport/Shutterstock