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Rugby: Barnes to referee Japan vs Springboks quarterfinal

Referee Wayne Barnes is seen in action during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group D game between Georgia and Uruguay. (Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Wayne Barnes will referee Japan's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa, World Rugby officials said Tuesday.

    The Englishman will be joined by Frenchman Jerome Garces, Nigel Owens of Wales and South African Jaco Peyper in taking charge of quarterfinal games, played in Oita and Tokyo on Oct. 19 and 20, following a full review of referee performances over the 37 pool matches.

    Garces will take charge of his second World Cup quarterfinal when England face Australia in Oita on Saturday, while Owens will be the man in the middle when two-time defending champions New Zealand take on Ireland in Tokyo the same day.

    Sunday's matches see Peyper officiate his 50th test when Wales play France at Oita Stadium before Barnes controls the Japan-Springboks game at Tokyo Stadium (Ajinomoto Stadium).

    This is the fourth straight Rugby World Cup for the 40-year-old Barnes, who is an experienced criminal barrister and trial advocate both for the prosecution and defense, specializing in bribery and corruption.

    "Every team takes time to settle at a major event and I am delighted with how this group of exceptional match officials have responded across the pool stage," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

    "They are the best of the best and have played their full part in what will be remembered as an incredible pool stage."

    Earlier, World Rugby released some facts from the pool stage, which concluded last Sunday.

    More than 1.8 million tickets have been sold across all 48 matches through official channels with an average of 99 percent of tickets sold across all venues. Three of the 48 games were canceled due to Typhoon Hagibis, and fans will receive refunds for tickets purchased.

    In addition, a record 864,000 fans have attended the official fan zones.

    "The teams have certainly played their part, delivering spectacular action," said Beaumont.

    "We now look forward to four excellent quarterfinals and continued superb support from the Japanese public as the host nation plays a historic first-ever knockout match."

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