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Other SportsO'Keeffe to referee England against South Africa

O’Keeffe to referee England against South Africa

New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe will take charge of England’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

It’s the second successive weekend O’Keeffe will have refereed the Springboks with his performance in their win over France on Sunday seeing him come in for criticism from French players and media.

Les Bleus captain Antoine Dupont said after his side’s 29-28 defeat: “There’s a lot of disappointment and frustration.

“When we watch the match again, there are probably things that will make us even more frustrated. I don’t want to be a bad loser and moan about the refereeing, but I am not sure the level of refereeing was up to what was at stake.”

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber backed O’Keeffe, however, saying: “I thought Ben was good on the day. We played in such a way to try and take the referee out of the game.”

Against England, O’Keeffe will be assisted by Andrew Brace from Ireland and fellow New Zealander Paul Williams. Brendon Pickerill, also from New Zealand, will be the television match official (TMO).

The first semi, between Argentina and New Zealand on Friday, will be refereed by Australian Angus Gardner. Nic Berry (Australia) and Karl Dickson (England) will be his assistants with Wales’ Ben Whitehouse as TMO.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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