World Rugby has announced that France’s Jérôme Garcès will referee the Rugby World Cup 2019 final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on 2 November.
One of the world’s most experienced referees with 55 tests, Garcès will be the first Frenchman to take charge of a Rugby World Cup final, in what will be his 11th Rugby World Cup match.
Garcès will be joined by Romain Poite (France) and Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) as assistant referees and Ben Skeen (New Zealand) as TMO.
Garcès said: “I am honoured and delighted to be appointed to referee the Rugby World Cup 2019 final. It is a dream as a referee, but this is a team sport, and as a team of four, we will be out there to do the best for the teams, the fans, the sport, but also the entire match officials team, selectors and support team, who have worked so hard over the last four years, culminating in Rugby World Cup 2019.”
England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge of the bronze final – as he did at RWC 2011 – between New Zealand and Wales at Tokyo Stadium on 1 November. It will be his 90th test match as a referee and his 21st at Rugby World Cup.
He will be joined by Jaco Peyper (South Africa) and Pascal Gaüzère (France) as assistant referees and Marius Jonker (South Africa) as TMO.
The appointments were made after a comprehensive review of the weekend’s semi-finals by the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee comprising Chairman Anthony Buchanan (council member), Joel Jutge (EPCR), Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR), Nick Mallett (former international coach) and Alain Rolland (World Rugby).
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “This has been one of the great Rugby World Cups, perhaps the greatest and there is significant excitement ahead of what promises to be an exceptional final between two former champions – England and South Africa.
“Our match officials have played their full role in this special tournament and I would like to congratulate Jérôme and the team on their appointments, which are thoroughly deserved. I would like to wish them all the best for what promises to be a very exciting finale to Rugby World Cup 2019.”
Previous Rugby World Cup final referees:
1987 – Kerry Fitzgerald (AUS)
1991 – Derek Bevan (WAL)
1995 – Ed Morrison (ENG)
1999 – Andre Watson (RSA)
2003 – Andre Watson (RSA)
2007 – Alain Rolland (IRE)
2011 – Craig Joubert (RSA)
2015 – Nigel Owens (WAL)