World Rugby has today announced that Australian match officials Angus Gardner and Nic Berry have been selected as referees for the Rugby World Cup in Japan, becoming the first Australian-born refs since 2007 to officiate at the quadrennial tournament. It is also the first time since 2003 that more than one Australian has been selected to referee at a Rugby World Cup.

Gardner and Berry will be part of the 23-man team that will officiate the 48 games that will take place in Japan for Rugby’s flagship event.

Gardner made his professional refereeing debut in 2012 when he refereed the Queensland Reds against the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane and has to date officiated 69 Vodafone Super Rugby matches and 21 Tests.

For Gardner this will also mark his second appearance at a Rugby World Cup, having been an assistant referee in 2015.

Meanwhile former Queensland Reds scrum-half, Nic Berry will make his World Cup refereeing debut having risen quickly through the ranks since making his Vodafone Super Rugby refereeing debut in 2016 where he took control of a clash between the Stormers and Sunwolves.

Now a regular in Super Rugby with 24 matches under his belt, Berry tackled his first tier-one international in 2018, where he took control of Ireland and Argentina before earning several more Test appointments including two 2019 Six Nations fixtures.

Rugby Australia National Referees Manager, Scott Young said: “The selection of Angus and Nic in this year's Rugby World Cup team is a testament to all their work at the national, provincial and international level.

“Angus and Nic are now common names in Super and International level Rugby, with their consistency and worth ethic both on and off the field earning them their plane ticket to Japan.”

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “On behalf of Rugby Australia I’d like to congratulate both Angus and Nic on their appointments to the World Cup Refereeing team.

“Like any other team that competes at the World Cup their selection has been based on performance, and their appointment is a credit to both them, as well as their support staff here at Rugby AU.

“Having our referees on these panels is confirmation that out High Performance pathway is working, and Australian referees are regarded as some of the best in the world,” Castle said.






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