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Two Irish officials on the line as Joubert dropped from World Cup semi-final ref roster

There’s no place for Nigel Owens either (but probably for the opposite reasons).

Image: AP/Press Association Images

SOUTH AFRICAN REFEREE Craig Joubert, who took charge of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, will not have a place in the semi-finals of this tournament.

Joubert was publicly criticised by governing body World Rugby yesterday after his inexplicable decision to award Australia a late game-winning penalty in their narrow quarter-final win over Scotland.

Although leading ref Nigel Owens is also conspicuous by his absence, it would be a surprise if Joubert’s name was to be called upon by World Rugby again this month.

Given his nationality, Joubert was only eligible for one of the three official spots in the semi-final between Australia and Argentina. However, that game will instead by taken by England’s Wayne Barnes, with Joubert’s compatriot Jaco Peyper and Ireland’s George Clancy assisting from the touchline. Kiwi Ben Skeen will be the Television Match Official (TMO).

The first semi-final this weekend between the Springboks and New Zealand will have France’s Jerome Garces on the whistle.

Garces presided over Ireland’s 43 – 20 trouncing at the hands of Argentina, but did not come through without controversy either as he appeared the ignore the advice of his TMO to hand Puma tighthead Ramiro Herrera a second yellow card for dangerous play at a ruck.

The Frenchman will have Romaine Poite and Irishman John Lacey as his assistants with George Ayoub in the TMO box.

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Sean Farrell

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