Referee Jaco Peyper stood down for RWC semifinals

Josh Navidi

Josh Navidi

World Cup referee Jaco Peyper has apologised for an "inappropriate" photo he had taken with Wales fans following their narrow victory over France, World Rugby said Tuesday.

Navidi's loss is a blow, but Wales have considerable back-row resources with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty all performing well.

The South African referee, who could still take charge of the final if his native South Africa do not make it through, was pictured with seven Wales fans and joined in with them in mimicking the flailing left elbow that had earned Vahaamahina his tournament-ending red card.

Owens, 47, is no stranger to the pressure of a Rugby World Cup, taking charge of the 2015 final between the All Blacks and Australia at Twickenham, and also holds the record for most Test matches refereed by a single official.

Dream debut for any player who does it at home: Nadeem
Bavuma, who was beginning to gain confidence with the bat, failed to read one of Nadeem's deliveries and got stumped. He hailed Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as the best in the world. "It's fun.

A photograph later appeared on social media on Monday of Peyper with a group of Wales fans with his elbow raised, seemingly a reference to the red card he issued to Vahaamahina.

Peyper could only have been in contention for a role in the England versus New Zealand semi-final, as South Africa are playing Wales in the other game.

Meanwhile, World Rugby confirms that the match official's selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for his weekend's semifinals.

"These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semifinals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend".

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