“It's a recognition of French arbitration at the highest level”

Jérôme Garcès of France will referee the Rugby World Cup final between the XV of the Rose and the Springbok on Saturday. For Joël Dumé, former international rugby referee, Jerome Garcès accompanies the game more than they referee, “the mark of the great referees”.

For the first time, in the history of rugby, a Frenchman will referee the final of the World Cup in Japan which opposes Saturday 26 October England to South Africa. At 46, it's a bit of a consecration for Jérôme Garcès. “It's a recognition of French arbitration at the highest level”, reacted Tuesday, October 29 on franceinfo Joel Dumé, former international referee of rugby, former technical director of French referees.

Franceinfo: Is this choice a surprise?

Joël Dumé : This is not really a surprise because we saw Jerome during this World Cup being extremely consistent in his performances, with a tough first match, New Zealand – South Africa. It was probably the match of the first phase that he perfectly succeeded. We knew it to be particularly regular, very concentrated, with the goal in mind. They are different with Nigel Owens (referee Welsh), they have the same quality of arbitration, but Jerome is more characterized by more discretion than Nigel Owens. They accompany the game more than they arbitrate. This is really the mark of the very great referees.

Is France at the forefront of arbitration in rugby?

It is a recognition of French arbitration at the highest level. For years, French arbitration has not had the chance to be recognized at its fair value. For three, four years, French referees have been entrusted with the biggest international matches. Every year, they arbitrate world events.

The referees must now deal with the video. Is it obvious?

This is one of Jerome's qualities, when he has to make an important decision, he takes his own responsibilities, he knows that the perception of the field may be slightly different from that of the video referee. The referee is on the field, in the climate of the match, while the referee is in front of a screen. The two perceptions may be different. Jerome has perfectly understood that sometimes it is the field referee who must make the decision. It is the recipe of the arbitration, to find the best balance between the call to the video and the decision alone.


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