Rugby World Cup 2019: Jaco Peyper not considered for semi-finals following Vahaamahina elbow picture

South African referee was stood down by World Rugby for the semi-finals after posing for a picture with Wales fans mocking Vahaamahina – who he sent off on Saturday

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 22 October 2019 05:17
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Jaco Peyper was not considered to referee this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals after apologising for the picture of him repeating Sebastian Vahaamahina’s elbow following Waless victory over France.

World Rugby confirmed that the South African will not feature in either semi-final, with Nigel Owens taking charge of England’s clash with New Zealand on Saturday and Jerome Garces handed Sunday’s encounter between Wales and South Africa.

Peyper caused a storm on Saturday night after posing with a group of Wales fans and recreating Vahaamahina’s disgraceful elbow on Welsh flanker Aaron Wainwright - which saw the lock shown a red card by Peyper – with the French voicing their anger at the picture.

A World Rugby statement read: “World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend.

“Peyper recognises that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologised.”

Owens will take charge of his second consecutive game featuring the All Blacks, having been the man in the middle for their crushing victory over Ireland last Saturday in which he showed their flanker Matt Todd a yellow card and awarded Ireland a penalty try late on. Owens will be joined by assistant referees Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere, while Garces will have Wayne Barnes and Ben O’Keeffe with him.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "I would like to congratulate Nigel and Jerome, the assistant referees and TMOs on their selection for the semi-finals.

"These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semi-finals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend."

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