July referee appointments confirmed with Ben O’Keeffe landing second South Africa v Lions Test

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O’Keeffe will control the Johannesburg Test on July 31 and will be assistant referee in the first and third Test matches in Cape Town and Johannesburg, on July 24 and August 7 respectively.


He will also referee the Samoa v Tonga Test in New Zealand on July 10 and the final Test in the series between Australia and France in Brisbane on July 18 with Paul Williams and Mike Fraser as his assistants and Glenn Newman as Television Match Official (TMO).


In other refereeing news, Paul Williams will referee the first Australia v France Test in Sydney with James Doleman and Mike Fraser as his assistant referees and Glenn Newman as TMO. Doleman will make his Test debut in the second Test in Melbourne with Williams and Fraser as his assistants and Brendon Pickerill as the TMO.


Pickerill will control the second Tonga v Samoa Test, in New Zealand with Dan Waenga and Angus Mabey as his assistants, and will also be TMO for each of the British & Irish Lions Tests.


Fraser has been appointed to referee the Maori All Blacks v Samoa game in Auckland on July 9 with Williams and Pickerill as his assistants and with O’Keeffe as TMO.


The officials for the early All Blacks Tests have also been confirmed. Australian Damon Murphy will control New Zealand’s Test against Tonga in Auckland on July 3. Nic Berry will be in charge in Dunedin when the All Blacks play Fiji on July 10 and Angus Gardner will handle New Zealand’s second Test against Fiji in Hamilton on July 17.


James Doleman has also been selected on the men’s panel for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with Lauren Jenner and former Black Fern Selica Winiata on the women’s panel for the Games.


Chairman of the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Graham Mourie said: “The July tests represent an important milestone for the match officials as they prepare for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year.


The appointments for the Rugby Championship will be announced in due course.  


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