Former French international referee, Joël Jutge has been named as the new head of match day officials by World Rugby.
Jutge will take up his post at the organisation in January where he will report to Joe Schmidt, the director of rugby and high performance.
According to the World Rugby website, Jutge will oversee the performance management and development of international match officials to help them deliver high quality refereeing performances and to prepare for tournaments such as the Rugby World Cup.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Joël back to the team. The complementary combination of Joel and Joe Schmidt as a team will provide a fresh and progressive approach to the game as well as creating a high performance culture that will aspire to the highest-possible standards of match officiating," said Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby.
“They will work closely with the new high performance 15s committee as World Rugby continues to shape a game that includes the highest standards of player welfare and is attractive to players and fans," he added.
Schmidt too, was looking forward to working with Jutge.
“Joël is a perfect fit for this important role and joins with a wealth of experience. Over his many years involved with elite refereeing, he has developed positive relationships with coaches and unions. He has a proven record of developing and managing referees and I look forward to working with him to continue to support and challenge match officials,” said Schmidt.
Jutge, who performed a similar role at the organisation from 2012-2015 was happy to return.
“I am excited to be re-joining World Rugby, which is very much like coming home for me. I am hugely looking forward to working with a talented team of match officials to aspire to achieve the highest-possible performance standards at Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 and working with unions to identify and develop the next generation of test match officials," said Jutge.
Jutge blew his first international in 2000 in a Test match between Italy and Romania.
He was forced to retire in 2009 due to a knee injury.
- Compiled by Sport24 staff