The International Rugby Federation (World Rugby) unveiled on Wednesday 10 May the full list of referees selected for the 2023 World Cup in France. The list includes 26 names, representing nine nations: England, Australia, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales. In detail, World Rugby has chosen 12 central referees, seven assistant referees and seven video referees, following a selection “based on merit”. France, the host country, is very poorly represented, with only one central referee, Mathieu Raynal, and one assistant, Pierre Brousset. As for the rest, the most experienced of the cast is Wayne Barnes from England, with 102 international matches under his belt, and already four appearances at the World Cup. Nika Amashukeli, also selected as a central referee, will make history by becoming the first Georgian to referee a Rugby World Cup. Joy Neville from Ireland, who refereed the Women’s World Cup Final in 2017, will be the first woman to officiate at a Men’s World Cup, where she has been selected as a video referee (TMO). Finally, Welshman Ben Whitehouse will continue the family tradition by succeeding his father Nigel, who was an assistant referee and TMO at the 2003 World Cup in Australia.
— Published 11 May 2023