Welsh referee Nigel Owens will take charge of the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between the All Blacks and Ireland on Saturday.

World Rugby announced the match officials for the quarter-finals in Japan following a full review of performances over the 37 pool matches.

Jérôme Garcès (France), Owens (Wales), Jaco Peyper (South Africa) and Wayne Barnes (England) will take charge of the four matches in Tokyo and Oita over the weekend of 19-20 October.

Owens, 47, is no stranger to the pressure of a Rugby World Cup, taking charge of the 2015 final between the All Blacks and Australia at Twickenham, and also holds the record for most Test matches refereed by a single official.


In a selection that reflects the officiating team's blend of experience and younger talent, Garcès will take charge of his second Rugby World Cup quarter-final as England face Australia in Oita on Saturday and Owens will take charge of world champions New Zealand against Ireland at Tokyo Stadium on the same day.

Sunday's matches will see Peyper take charge of his 50th test (and his first quarter-final) with Wales versus France in Oita, while Barnes will round-off the weekend's action by refereeing hosts Japan against South Africa at Tokyo Stadium.

The All Blacks will face Ireland in perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the World Cup quarter-final stage.

Thanks to Japan's incredible 28-21 win over Scotland which saw the hosts top Pool A, All Blacks fans will be treated to a blockbuster matchup earlier than expected – a rematch of last year's Dublin clash where Ireland beat the All Blacks in convincing fashion.

During this tournament however, Ireland have been less convincing besides their first match against Scotland – losing to Japan, then failing to impress in their wins over Samoa and Russia.

The All Blacks, on the other hand, have been flying high since their win over the Springboks, but will be coming into the matchup cold after the cancellation of their final pool game against Italy.

Quarter-final draw

• England v Australia, Saturday, 8.15pm, Oita
• All Blacks v Ireland, Saturday, 11.15pm, Tokyo
• Wales v France, Sunday, 8.15pm, Oita
• Japan v South Africa, Sunday 11.15pm, Tokyo

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