24 Mar 2017

Refs named for Lions tests

6:41 am on 24 March 2017

Romain Poite and Jérôme Garcès of France and South Africa's Jaco Peyper have been appointed to referee the three tests between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions in Auckland and Wellington.

Referee Romain Poite speaks to captains Kieran Read (L) and Stephen Moore, Wellington. 27th August 2016. © Copyright Photo: Grant Down / www.photosport.nz

Referee Romain Poite speaks to captains Kieran Read (L) and Stephen Moore Photo: Photosport

The officials are three out of a total of 26 referees who will take charge of internationals in June and July with a huge number of exciting matches and tournaments on the horizon for rugby-lovers around the world.

During what is an important stage in the Rugby World Cup cycle for the further development of elite match officials, the action will start on 10 June and carry on until the conclusion of the Pacific Nations Cup on 15 July and will include nine matches where tier-one teams play tier two.

The 36-year-old Peyper, who is a veteran of 36 tests already, will take charge of the first New Zealand v Lions test in Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday 24 June for what should be a great occasion for all rugby fans in NZ.

A week later, Garcès, who has previously reffereed 37 internationals, will take charge of the second test in Wellington, with Poite (53 tests) refereeing the third and final match of the series.

The appointments include the World Rugby Nations Cup 2017 in Uruguay with four referees appointed to cover those matches in Montevideo.

They also include crucial Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifying matches in Rugby Americas North (USA v Canada over two legs) and in Oceania with the Pacific Nations Cup providing two qualifiers from that region.