South African Jaco Peyper will take charge of the Lions v Crusaders Super Rugby final, with two of his countrymen getting key roles as his assistants.
It's news that will not comfort Crusaders supporters, who are hoping their side can overturn the odds to win at Ellis Park on Sunday morning NZT.
Peyper made several key decisions which went the Lions' way in their semifinal victory over the Hurricanes, and many will see his appointment in officiating the Johannesburg-based team two weeks in a row as odd.
New Zealander Glen Jackson is one of Peyper's assistants, with Marius van der Westerhuizen the other and Marius Jonker the television match official.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Strangely, there is no role for Australian Angus Gardner who has had a consistently excellent season with the whistle. Many believed he was primed for the major role at Ellis Park as he didn't have the whistle in either of the semifinals.
In a statement, Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos clearly had recent comments about the need for neutral officials in mind when he said: "The selection criteria for all match official appointments for the last two years follows a clear tournament policy - as agreed by the Sanzaar Executive Committee and the tournament's stakeholders - that such appointments be merit-based.
"This policy is written into the tournament protocols and appointments are made according to this policy on a weekly basis and is also the policy used for the finals last year as well as this year."
"This merit-based policy was reflected with the appointment last year of New Zealand referee Glen Jackson to referee the Hurricanes versus Lions final in Wellington. Sanzaar stands behind the policy and believes the best referees should be available to officiate the best matches," added Marinos.
2017 Super Rugby Final Match Officials
Match Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referee (1): Glen Jackson
Assistant Referee (2): Marius van der Westhuizen
Television Match Official (TMO): Marius Jonker.