World Rugby has announced the Emirates Match Officials for the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-finals at Stade de France this weekend.
Angus Gardner (Australia) will referee Argentina v New Zealand in Saint-Denis on Friday, 20 October (21:00 CET). He will be joined by assistant referees Nic Berry (Australia) and Karl Dickson (England) with Ben Whitehouse (Wales) as Television Match Official.
Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) will take charge of England v South Africa in Saint-Denis on Saturday, 21 October (21:00 CET). He will be joined by assistant referees Andrew Brace (Ireland) and Paul Williams (New Zealand) and TMO Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand).
- It will be a first Rugby World Cup semi-final for both Angus Gardner and Ben O’Keeffe.
- Gardner will referee Argentina v New Zealand for the fifth time in what is his first Rugby World Cup knockout match as a referee.
- The Australian official was in the middle for Argentina's historic 25-15 victory in November 2020.
- He also refereed their most recent meeting, won 41-12 by New Zealand in July, in the Rugby Championship.
- It will be Gardner’s fourth match in the middle at RWC 2023 and a fifth of the tournament for O'Keeffe.
- The New Zealand official will referee England v South Africa for the second time, having been in the middle for South Africa’s 42-39 victory in June 2018.
- It will be a first men’s Rugby World Cup semi-final for all assistant referees and TMOs.
- However, Ben Whitehouse was TMO for the women’s RWC 2021 semi-final between England and Canada last November.
The selection is based on merit and the wider team will remain in contention for the Rugby World Cup 2023 bronze final and final.
World Rugby can confirm that Jaco Peyper (South Africa) wasn't considered, owing to a calf injury sustained during the Wales v Argentina quarter-final in Marseille.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “I would like to congratulate Angus and Ben, the assistant referees and TMOs on their selection for the semi-finals.
“The match official group as a whole have played a full and positive role in an exceptional Rugby World Cup, including a compelling set of quarter-finals.”
World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge added: “Congratulations to all selected. This is a team effort, and the selection reflects the hard work of the group as a whole, and the encouragement and support they give each other.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Jaco Peyper, who has been ruled out through injury. He would have been in contention. We wish him a speedy recovery.”