Referee Jaco Peyper stood down for RWC semifinals

Referee Jaco Peyper was not considered for the Rugby World Cup semifinals following the photo of him with Wales fans that angered the French Rugby Federation (FFR).

Peyper showed a red card to France lock Sebastian Vahaamahina in Sunday’s World Cup quarterfinal against Wales for his elbow on Aaron Wainwright, a game Wales went on to win 20-19.

A photograph later appeared on social media on Monday of Peyper with a group of Wales fans with his elbow raised, seemingly a reference to the red card he issued to Vahaamahina.

The photograph was labelled “shocking” by FFR vice-president Serge Simon.

When World Rugby announced the officials for the weekend’s two semifinals on Tuesday, Peyper was omitted. “World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend,” a statement read.

“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.”

The announcement sees Nigel Owens taking the whistle for England-New Zealand on Saturday while Jérôme Garcès will take charge of Wales-South Africa on Sunday.

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