Garces becomes first Frenchman appointed to referee Rugby World Cup final

Jerome Garces will referee Saturday’s World Cup final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama.

Garces becomes the first Frenchman to take charge of the global showpiece after seeing off the challenge of Wales’ Nigel Owens for the role.

The 46-year-old has overseen 55 Tests including 10 World Cup games to make him one of the game’s most experienced officials.

His fellow Frenchman Romain Poite and Ben O’Keeffe of New Zealand have been named as assistant referees.

“I’m honoured and delighted to be appointed to referee the 2019 World Cup final,” Garces said.

“It’s a dream as a referee but this is a team sport. As a team of four, we’ll be out there to do the best for the teams, the fans, the sport, but also the entire match officials team, selectors and support team.

“All of them have worked so hard over the last four years, culminating in the World Cup final.”

England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge of the bronze final between Wales and New Zealand at Tokyo Stadium on Friday in his 90th Test.

He will be joined by assistant referee Jaco Peyper of South Africa, who was stood down from the semi-finals after being photographed simulating the elbow to the head that saw France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina sent off.

Peyper issued the red card and was pictured re-enacting the incident with Welsh fans.

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