Rugby World Cup 2023: who is the referee, TMO and touch judges for Japan vs Samoa?

Jaco Peyper. Picture: Joe Allison/Getty Images
Jaco Peyper. Picture: Joe Allison/Getty Images

The match officials for the Pool D clash between Samoa and Japan have been announced.

Both teams have started the tournament with a win and a loss and will be hoping to keep their dreams of playing knock-out stage rugby alive. Japan advanced to the quarter-finals in the 2019 during their home tournament.

The Brave Blossoms started the 2023 world cup with a bonus point win over Chile and then succumed to a 34-12 loss to England in the second round. Japan will need to claim victory on Thursday night to keep hopes of advancing from Pool D alive.

Samoa did not play on the opening weekend, entering in the second round and also secured a bonus point win over Chile. Manu Samoa then faced a stern test against Argentina on week three of the tournament - and lost 19-10.

It promises to be one of the closest to call games ahead of the weeked ahead of kick-off on Thursday at the Stadium de Toulouse in Toulouse?

But who will be the match officials for the game? Here's all you need to know

Who is the referee for Japan vs Samoa?

The match official for the Pool D clash will be the experienced referee Jaco Peyper. The South African will be taking charge of his third game of the pool stages so far.

He was the referee for the first game of the tournament between France and New Zealand on Friday, 8 September. Peyper is no stranger to world cup matches - and also took charge of the opening game at the 2015 world cup in England.

The 43-year-old has been a referee at the top level for many years now - and refereed games at both the 2015 and 2019 world cups. He was also the match official for the Champions Cup final between La Rochelle and Leinster earlier this year.

Who is the TMO and touch judges?

New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe and Welsh official Craig Evans will be the touch judges for the game at Toulouse on Thursday night. O'Keeffe has refereed two games at the tournament including the titanic clash between Ireland and South Africa.

Evans has served as a touch judge throughout the tournament - having been an assistant referee for four games so far at the rugby world cup. Including Scotland's game against Tonga on Sunday, 24 September.

The TMO will be South African official Marius Jonker. He has been in the hotseat for three previous games in the opening rounds - including England vs Chile last weekend.

How to watch Japan vs Samoa?

ITV (and STV in Scotland) have exclusive rights for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. The Japan vs Samoa game will be broadcast live on ITV4 - and can also be watched on ITVX.

Coverage will begin at 7.15pm on ITV4 and the match kicks-off at 8pm.