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Pic: iol.co.za Egon Seconds.

A number of SA Rugby referees will feature prominently during the Test window in June, with Jaco Peyper given the responsibility of handling the highly anticipated first test match between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions.

World Rugby announcement of the appointments of match officials on Friday (list attached).

New Zealanders Glen Jackson and Ben O’Keeffe, as well as Angus Gardner from Australia have been named as referees for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against France.

Jackson will handle the opening Test at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 10 June, O’Keeffe the second on 17 June at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban and Gardner will officiate at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg in the third and final Test of the series on 24 June.

The 36-year-old Peyper will take charge of the highly-anticipated series opener between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday 24 June in what will be his 37th Test in charge. He will then run touch in the remaining two Tests, while Marius Jonker will act as TMO in three matches leading up to the first Test.A total of 26 referees will take charge of internationals in June and July, with a huge number of exciting matches and tournaments on the horizon for rugby-lovers around the world.

They also include crucial Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifying matches in Rugby Americas North (USA v Canada over two legs) and in Oceania with the Pacific Nations Cup providing two qualifiers from that region.

Marius van der Westhuizen will be in action in the Pacific Nations Cup and will take charge of the Test match between Fiji and Italy, to be played in Suva on 17 June and again a week later on 17 June, when Samoa host Wales in Apia.

Egon Seconds will be an assistant referee when the Pumas play England in San Juan on 10 June and in Sante Fe on 17 June. He will also be assisting on 24 June when Argentina and Georgia clash in Jujay.

Jaco van Heerden and Johan Greeff will be in action during the World Rugby Under-20 World Cup tournament in Georgia. Van Heerden is one of nine referees and Greeff one of three TMOs who will be in action between 31 May and 18 June.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman, Anthony Buchanan said: “Everything is now pointing towards Rugby World Cup 2019 and we are very much looking ahead and developing fresh talent towards Japan.

“June provides us with a huge number of very challenging matches for the referees, assistant referees and TMOs. This gives us the opportunity to see how some emerging match officials perform under that increased pressure and intensity which international rugby provides.

“The ultimate goal is to arrive in Japan in 2019 with an established group of top-class, in-form officials with the necessary experience to perform at the highest level. Our focus continues to be clear and consistent decision-making and the highest standards of physical conditioning.”

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