Who is Ireland-Wales referee Jaco Peyper? Controversial official named for Six Nations opener

WALES begin their Six Nations title defense against Ireland in Dublin.

And there is a lot of experience in the middle since Jaco Peyper was selected as referee.


Jaco Peyper will take charge of Ireland against WalesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

But with that experience came controversy over his long career.

Who is Jaco Peyper?

Jaco Peyper was born in Bloemfontein in 1980.

In 2008, he made his Super Rugby debut while still in his twenties, before breaking onto the international stage on Scotland’s 2012 tour of Oceania.

Peyper took charge of the Scots’ 9-6 win over Australia, their 37-25 win over Fiji and their 17-16 win over Tonga.

He was chosen to officiate at the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

Outside of rugby he is a trained lawyer and he and his wife Zenobia have two children together.

Why has Jaco Peyper caused controversy?

Jaco Peyper sparked controversy in another Wales match, the 2019 Rugby World Cup final against France.

Peyper sent off French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina for a brutal elbow on Aaron Wainwright.

However, after the game he was pictured laughing with the Wales fans while performing an elbow gesture.

As a result, World Rugby launched an investigation and opted not to select Peyper for the remainder of the tournament, calling the move “inappropriate”.

Peyper joking his sacking of Sébastien Vahaamahina saw him removed from the 2019 Rugby World Cup official list


Peyper joking his sacking of Sébastien Vahaamahina saw him removed from the 2019 Rugby World Cup official listCredit: PA: Press Association

Ahead of Ireland v Wales, substitute Welsh captain Dan Biggar joked that Peyper would be having sleepless nights refereeing him with fiery Ireland captain Johnny Sextion.

He said: “For the first game, Jaco Peyper got him and me, so I bet he’s been having sleepless nights!

“(Seriously) it will be a challenge because my nature is very fiery and competitive. It’s kind of a double-edged sword.

!For me, as a player, I need to be at a level where I’m emotionally exhausted but obviously there has to be a limit.

“I’m really looking forward to testing myself. Only time will tell if it will go well, but I’ll fly in it as best I can.

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