World Rugby has confirmed that South African referee Jaco Peyper was not considered for officiating selection this weekend after posing for a controversial photo with Welsh fans.
Peyper appeared in a photograph with Welsh fans after taking charge of Wales’ quarter-final victory over France, a game where he red-carded French lock Sebastien Vahaamina for throwing an elbow.
In the photo, Peyper appears to be emulating Vahaamahina’s act as he stands alongside the fans. The photo led to an angry reaction from both French supporters and the France Rugby Union.
After probing the picture, World Rugby announced that Peyper would not be considered for the semi-final matches taking place this weekend.
‘World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend,’ the governing body said in a statement.
‘Peyper recognises that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologised.’