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Owens Starts 2019 Rugby World Cup

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World Rugby has announced the names of match officials appointed to the pool matches of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The man who will blow the whistle to start the first match of the World Cup is Nigel Owens of Wales.

By Paul Dobson, Moonsport

Owens, from the West Walian village of Mynyddcerrig, has refereed more Test matches than any other referee in the history of the game - 76 in all.

The first match of the 2019 World Cup is between hosts Japan and Russia, and Owens will blow the whistle that gets the match under way.

The match officials appointed to the world cup are 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four Television match officials. In addition there is a judicial structure.

Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Nic Berry (Australia), Jérôme Garcès (France), Angus Gardner (Australia), Pascal Gaüzère (France), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Nigel Owens (Wales), Luke Pearce (England), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Romain Poite (France), Mathieu Raynal (France), Paul Williams (New Zealand)

Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Matthew Carley (England), Karl Dickson (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Alex Ruiz (France)

Television match officials: Graham Hughes (England), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Rowan Kitt (England), Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Pools

The appointments have been made for the pool matches. The 20 teams have been divided into four pools. They will each play four matches in their pools.

Pool A: Ireland Japan, Russia, Samoa, Scotland,
Pool B: Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa
Pool C: Argentina, England, France, Tonga, USA
Pool D: Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay, Wales

Pool Matches with Match Officials

20 September 2019
Japan vs Russia at Tokyo Stadium
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

21 September 2019
Australia vs Fiji at Sapporo Dome
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

France vs Argentina at Tokyo Stadium
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

New Zealand vs South Africa at International Stadium, Yokohama
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

22 September 2019
Italy vs Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Ireland vs Scotland at International Stadium, Yokohama
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

England vs Tonga at Sapporo Dome
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

23 September 2019
Wales vs Georgia at City of Toyota Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

24 September 2019
Russia vs Samoa at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

25 September 2019
Fiji vs Uruguay at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Japan
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

26 September 2019
Italy vs Canada at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

England vs USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

28 September 2019
Argentina vs Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

Japan vs Ireland at
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

South Africa vs Namibia at City of Toyota Stadium
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

29 September 2019
Georgia vs Uruguay at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Australia vs Wales at Tokyo Stadium,Tokyo
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

30 September 2019
Scotland vs Samoa at Kobe Misaki Stadium
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

2 October 2019
France vs USA at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka City
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

New Zealand vs Canada at Oita Stadium, Japan
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

3 October 2019
Georgia vs Fiji at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

Ireland vs Russia at Kobe Misaki Stadium
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

4 October 2019
South Africa vs Italy at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Japan
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

5 October 2019
Australia vs Uruguay at Oita Stadium
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

England vs Argentina at Tokyo Stadium,Tokyo
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Japan vs Samoa at City of Toyota Stadium, Tokyo
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

6 October 2019
New Zealand vs Namibia at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

France vs Tonga at Kumamoto Stadium
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

8 October 2019
South Africa vs Canada at Kobe Misaki Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

9 October 2019
Argentina vs USA at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

Scotland vs Russia at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Japan
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Wales vs Fiji at Oita Stadium
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

11 October 2019
Australia vs Georgia at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

12 October 2019
New Zealand vs Italy at City of Toyota Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

England vs France at International Stadium, Yokohama
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Ireland vs Samoa at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

13 October 2019
Namibia vs Canada at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

USA vs Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

Wales vs Uruguay at Kumamoto Stadium
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Karl Dickson (England)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

Japan vs Scotland at International Stadium, Yokohama
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Matthew Carley (England)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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