Referees named for November Tests

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Mathieu Raynal will blow the first whistle of a packed November Test schedule, with officials having been appointed by World Rugby.

During what is an important stage in the Rugby World Cup cycle for the further development of elite match officials, a total of 26 referees have been appointed to Test matches in November.

The 35-year-old Raynal, who has previously refereed eight Tests, will take charge of the Ireland v New Zealand match in Soldier Field, Chicago, on Saturday 5 November for what should be a great occasion for all rugby fans in the USA.

Nearly a month later, 36-year-old Jaco Peyper will referee the England v Australia match in Twickenham on 3 December, closing what will surely be a memorable few weeks for international rugby. In the intervening period, all 10 tier one unions will be involved as well as 15 from tier two and there will be seven matches involving both.

The appointments include the Barbarians matches against South Africa and Fiji on 5 and 11 November with Mike Fraser and Nick Briant from New Zealand in the middle.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman, Anthony Buchanan said: "With a year gone since Rugby World Cup 2015, we are very much looking ahead and developing fresh talent towards RWC 2019 in Japan. November provides us with a huge number of very challenging matches for the referees, assistant referees and TMOs. This gives us the opportunity to see how some emerging match officials perform under that increased pressure and intensity which international rugby provides.

"The ultimate goal is to arrive in Japan in 2019 with an established group of top-class, in-form officials with the necessary experience to perform at the highest level. Our focus continues to be clear and consistent decision-making and the highest standards of physical conditioning."

Full list of match officials can be found here