Experienced South African referee, Jaco Peyper, will have a memorable 50th Test appearance with the whistle on Sunday after being appointed to take charge of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Wales and France at the Oita Stadium in Japan.
This feat makes him only the third South African referee to officiate 50 Tests, with Craig Joubert and Jonathan Kaplan being the others.
World Rugby announced that Wayne Barnes (England) has been appointed as the referee for the Springboks’ quarter-final against Japan at the Tokyo Stadium, also on Sunday.
The two other quarter-finals will be refereed by Nigel Owens of Wales (New Zealand v Ireland at Tokyo Stadium) and Jérôme Garcès of France (England and Australia at the Oita Stadium).
The 39-year-old Peyper was set to reach this milestone last weekend in the pool stages between England and France, but the match was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Peyper, who is the only South African among the 12 referees at the tournament, made his Rugby World Cup debut with the whistle in the 2015 showpiece in England.
His illustrious career has seen him become only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Vodacom Super Rugby matches, while he also had the honour of officiating matches in the series between the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions in 2017.
Peyper was named the SA Referee of the Year for a third time last season and refereed his fourth Currie Cup Final in Cape Town in 2018. He officiated his first Test in 2011 between Kenya and Zimbabwe, and his consistency has seen him feature consistently on the international stage.
To date, he has officiated six Rugby World Cup matches – four of which were at the 2015 showpiece and two this year – making Sunday’s quarter-final his seventh RWC match.
“We would like to congratulate Jaco on this fantastic achievement, and the fact that he will earn this feat at the Rugby World Cup makes it even more notable,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“The fact that he is only the third South African referee to take charge of 50 Tests sums up what a special achievement this is. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this level as a referee, and to maintain this standard year-in and year-out is even more challenging as it requires one to produce effective performances consistently.
“We wish Jaco all the best for the match and for the rest of the World Cup.”