Owens, Barnes, Garces, Peyper to referee RWC quarterfinals

TOKYO (AP) — South Africa's Jaco Peyper will referee his 50th test but his first Rugby World Cup quarterfinal when he takes charge of the knockout match between Wales and France at Oita, Japan on Sunday.

World Rugby on Tuesday announced Peyper, Jérôme Garces of France, Nigel Owens of Wales and Wayne Barnes of England will control weekend quarterfinals. The decision follows a review of refereeing performances over 37 pool matches.

The world body said the selection "reflects the officiating team's blend of experience and younger talent."

"Every team takes time to settle at a major event and I am delighted with how this group of exceptional match officials have responded across the pool stage," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said. "They are the best of the best and have played their full part in what will be remembered as an incredible pool stage.

"I would like to congratulate Jérôme, Nigel, Jaco and Wayne, the assistant referees and TMOs and we now look forward to four compelling matches on the road to determining who will lift the Webb Ellis Cup on Nov. 2."

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Garces will control the quarterfinal between England and Australia at Oita on Saturday. Owens will referee the match between defending world champion New Zealand and Ireland at Tokyo Stadium later the same day.

Peyper will referee the first of two quarterfinals on Sunday while Barnes controls the weekend's final match between hosts Japan and South Africa.

The four referees have 285 test appearances between them.

Owens refereed the 2015 World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia.

Barnes first refereed at a World Cup in 2007, controlling the quarterfinal between New Zealand and France. In 2011 he had charge of the third-fourth playoff between Wales and Australia and in 2015 refereed the semifinal between Australia and Argentina while Garces controlled the other semifinal between New Zealand and South Africa.

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More AP Rugby World Cup: https://www.apnews.com/RugbyWorldCup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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