Rolland, Joubert to referee RWC semi-finals

2011-10-11 00:00

CRAIG Joubert, a product of Maritzburg College and the University of KZN, will referee the Rugby World Cup semi-final between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland on Sunday.

Ireland’s Alain Rolland will take charge of the Welsh-French semi-final, also in Auckland, on Saturday. Both matches kick off at 10 am (SA time).

The decisions by the IRB’s match official selection committee mean all four sides should be well-used to the interpretations of both referees, given Wales and France regularly come across Rolland during the Six Nations, while Joubert is familiar to the All Blacks and the Wallabies from the Tri-Nations.

France have often complained they are at a disadvantage from referees barking out instructions to players in English, but that shouldn’t be a problem this Saturday given Rolland’s fluency in French.

An IRB statement said the appointments were made yesterday “following a thorough review of quarter-final performances”.

While Joubert impressed observers in his handling of Wales’s win over Ireland, Rolland was not in charge of any of the last eight fixtures. South African supporters will be pleased that New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence is not involved after his controversial handling of the Boks’ quarter-final against Australia.

South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan and Englishman Wayne Barnes will be the touch judges in Saturday’s match and one of them is expected to referee the final.

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