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Nigel Owens appointed to referee Ireland's clash with the All Blacks

Angus Gardner and Pascal Guazere will be on the sidelines for the clash in Tokyo.

NIGEL OWENS HAS been appointed to referee Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday [KO 11.15am Irish time].

France’s Pascal Guazere and Australia’s Angus Gardner will be the assistant referees, while England’s Graham Hughes will be on television match official duties. 

nigel-owens-signals-for-tmo-intervention-on-the-high-tackle-of-tomas-lavanini-on-owen-farrell Owens will be in charge of Ireland's quarter-final. Source: Craig Mercer/INPHO

Owens has long been regarded as one of the leading referees in the game, although Ireland will still have strong memories of the Welshman awarding the All Blacks a late penalty in 2013 in Dublin when the Kiwis grabbed a last-gasp win.

Owens also handed New Zealand a controversial late scrum penalty in their second Test against Ireland on home soil in 2012.

However, Ireland welcomed the appointment of Owens for Saturday’s huge game.

“I think it’s a good appointment,” said Ireland assistant coach Simon Easterby. “I think we’re familiar with him, so are the All Blacks.

“He does a lot of Rugby Championship games, he gets a lot of coverage there. So I think he’s good appointment and both camps will be pretty happy to see Nigel out in the middle.

“He’s got a good way about him, he’ll allow the game to flow but will also be across all the set-piece work and I think he’ll be a good man to have in the middle.”

Meanwhile, France’s Jerome Garces will be in charge of England’s quarter-final against Australia.

South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will referee Wales’ clash with France.

And Englishman Wayne Barnes will be on the whistle for hosts Japan’s meeting with South Africa in the final eight.

“As a team, the match officials have worked hard to achieve consistency and clarity of decision-making during an exciting pool stage,” said World Rugby high performance 15s match official manager, Alain Rolland.

“While it is the referees who will get the recognition for the quarter-final appointments, this is a team game. We have an excellent team of referees, assistant referees and TMOs with a strong culture of working together to elevate performances.

“As we are looking ahead to the knock-out stage, everyone remains in the reckoning for semis and finals selection.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Tokyo

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