World Championship 2023 – France-South Africa: New Zealander O'Keefe at the referee's whistle

World Championship 2023 – France-South Africa: New Zealander O'Keefe at the referee's whistle

Aurelien Cano, Media365 Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 1:43 pm.

The World Rugby Union, on Tuesday, announced the names of the four referees appointed to officiate the World Cup quarter-final matches. New Zealander Ben O'Keefe, who has already been selected for the France-Uruguay match and speaks French, will officiate the match between the Blues and South Africa on Sunday at the Stade de France. Mathieu Raynal will referee the England-Fiji match.

NZ Blues. Since Tuesday, the four referees who were appointed to officiate the World Cup quarter-final matches in France, which began on September 8, have become known. The French XV had inherited New Zealand rule. In fact, it is Ben O'Keefe (34) who will officiate Sunday evening's (9:00pm) quarter-final between the Blues and South Africa at the Stade de France. The French know O'Keeffe well, because he actually officiated the match on September 14 between Fabien Galthier's players and Uruguay, the Habs' second match in the tournament. A match in which the French, who suffered greatly against Uruguay, do not necessarily have good memories. Galthiet certainly made the rotation that day and fielded a team made up mainly of substitutes. However, this remains one of the most difficult matches since the start of this World Cup for the Blues, and of course this opening match was won by the All Blacks. That evening, in Lille, Ben O'Keefe, who had the advantage of speaking our language, punished the French fifteen times. Therefore, he will meet them on Sunday in Saint-Denis, but not only that. The New Zealander, who has never captained a World Cup quarter-final before despite playing the event for the second time, has already refereed South Africa as well.

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England – Fiji by Matthew Raynal

The Super Rugby regular brought bad luck to the world champions, losing to Ireland (13-8) on 23 September. To this day, this remains the match in which the Irish, aided by the eleven points dropped by the Springboks, faced their greatest odds since the start of the tournament. O'Keeffe had called South African fouls eleven times. As for the other three quarter-final matches, England's Wayne Barnes will officiate Saturday night's match between Ireland and New Zealand, while South Africa's Jaco Pepper will be the one who will take the whistle for the match between Wales and Argentina. Mathieu Raynal, the only French referee at the tournament, will officiate the England-Fiji match, the winner of which could face the Blues in the semi-finals.

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