Owens & Barnes Drafted In As Referee Pulls Out Of Rugby Championship Games

Sonny Bill will be delighted.

Refere Jérôme Garcès has been forced to withdraw from two upcoming Rugby Championship games due to an injury.

The Frenchman was due to take charge of this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup opener between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, before acting as assistant the week after. A calf strain however, will keep him out of both fixtures.

As a result English referee Wayne Barnes and Welshman Nigel Owens have been brought in to cover him. Barnes will be the man in the middle this week, with Owens acting as his assistant, while the two will reverse roles the following week with Owens taking charge of refereeing duties.

 

Garcès is expected to be fit for his two other appointments in the Rugby Championship, when he will be assistant referee for South Africa v Australia in Bloemfontein on 30 September and referee for South Africa v New Zealand in Cape Town on 7 October.