Morrison named as final referee

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Ed Morrison, the English referee who made history when he sent off the Springbok, James Small, two years ago, will be in charge of the World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Morrison dismissed Small in the second Test against Australia in Brisbane in August, 1993. The fiery winger, expelled for dissent, thus became the first Springbok to be sent off in Test history.

Kitch Christie, the Springbok coach, said: "We have nothing against Morrison. James shook his hand in the next game and there are no grudges. It will be okay as long as James behaves himself."

South Africa's manager, Morne du Plessis, said: "He's a top referee. There will be no problem with Small. The standard of refereeing has been very high in this tournament. They have achieved consistency and that's all we are looking for."

The New Zealanders are also accustomed to Morrison, who refereed their Group C game on 31 May against Wales and was touch judge in their game against Japan. Morrison also refereed the France v Ireland quarter-final in Durban on 10 June.

After making his international refereeing debut in the France v Scotland game in the 1991 Five Nations' Championship, Morrison officiated in the 1991 World Cup. The final will be his 17th Test. The linesmen will be Derek Bevan, of Wales, and Joel Dume, of France.

New Zealand's David Bishop will handle the third-place play-off between England and France in Pretoria on Thursday. Bishop's linesmen will be Colin Hawke and the Australian, Wayne Erickson.

Small is the man who will be marking Jonah Lomu, but has no fear. "I don't think James is scared of him," Christie said. "I don't think James is scared of anyone. We'll just see how James handles him. James is working himself up already."

"Don't forget, if Lomu beats him, he's still got to tackle James when he gets the ball. James will psyche himself up. I don't think he's going to go in there thinking Lomu is better than he is. He'll probably go in there thinking he's better than Lomu."

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