Rugby World Cup 2023: who is the referee, TMO and touch judges for Australia vs Portugal

Nika Amashukeli. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
Nika Amashukeli. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Portugal will be eyeing another Rugby World Cup shock when they take on Australia this weekend.

The European side almost pulled off an incredible victory of Georgia in round three - but missed a penalty in the final minute to leave the game tied at 19 points each. It leaves Portugal searching for their first ever win in the competition.

The only previous appearance the Portugese national side have made at the Rugby World Cup came 16 years ago in 2007 - which was also hosted in France. But a wounded Australia team could prove ripe for an upset.

The Aussies are facing down their first ever group stage elimination after back-to-back defeats to Fiji and Wales. It leaves them with an uphill battle to qualify from the pool - and it is now out of their hands.

Eddie Jones took over as Australia's coach less than 12 months before the tournament and the switch has not gone as many will have hoped when Dave Rennie departed.

But who will be the match officials for the game at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne on Sunday (1 October) afternoon? Here's all you need to know:

Who is the referee for Australia vs Portugal?

Georgian official Nika Amashukeli will be the referee for the Pool C clash on Sunday afternoon. It will be his third match at the tournament - including England's win over Japan in the second round of the competition as well as Ireland vs Romania.

First introduced to rugby by his father during the 2007 World Cup, Nika played the sport as a young boy and played at U17, U18 and U19 levels for his country.

After multiple injuries and concussions he retired from rugby aged 20 before starting training to become a referee in 2013. He took charge of his first test in 2015 in the Montenegro v Estonia European Nations Cup Third Division match.

He made his tier one test debut in 2021 during Wales' summer tour game against Canada. Nika has refereed two Six Nations games in 2022 and 2023.

Who is the TMO and the touch judges?

Amashukeli will be joined by French official Mathieu Raynal and Italian Andrea Piardi as his touch judges/ assistant referees for the game. It marks a busy weekend for Raynal who has already been the referee for Uruguay vs Namibia on Thursday evening.

The TMO will be Irish official Joy Neville - she has made history at the tournament as first female TMO at the men's Rugby World Cup. She has been in the hot seat for each of the rounds of pool stages so far.

How to watch Australia vs Portugal?

The game will be televised by ITV (and STV in Scotland). The broadcaster has exclusive rights for the tournament and will be showing all the games live from the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Coverage will be on ITV4 - and ITVX - and will begin at 4.15pm ahead of kick-off at 4.45pm, ITV has confirmed.