Wales v France referee ‘not considered’ for Rugby World Cup semi-finals over photo

Wales v France referee ‘not considered’ for Rugby World Cup semi-finals over photo

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 Referee Jaco Peyper was not considered for for either Rugby World Cup semi-final after an “inappropriate” picture of him alongside Welsh fans appeared on social media  The South African official reduced France to 14-men during their quarter-final meeting with Wales on Sunday after showing a red card to lock Sebastien Vahaamahina for making contact with Aaron Wainwright’s head with his elbow  Following the match, a photo of Peyper posing with Welsh fans emerged on social media which showed the referee appearing to mock the incident  The image, which showed him playfully landing an elbow on the head of one of the supporters, was heavily criticised and World Rugby investigated the circumstances surrounding it  And the sport’s international governing body confirmed that the South African would not be in charge of either of this weekend’s semi-final matches on the back of the image     In a statement, the governing body said : “World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend  “Peyper recognises that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologised ”  Due to the fact that his native South Africa are facing Wales in one of the matches, Peyper would have only been able to officiate England versus New Zealand  Meanwhile, Welshman Nigel Owens will take charge of the game between Eddie Jones’ side and the All Blacks, with France’s Jerome Garces officiating the other tie  French pair Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere will be assistant referees in the England match, with England’s Wayne Barnes and New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe filling those roles for the other tie  World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “I would like to congratulate Nigel and Jerome, the assistant referees and TMOs (television match officials) on their selection for the semi-finals  “These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semi-finals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend ”

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