“I Won’t Miss That About Rugby” – Jaco Peyper


Foremost South African referee Jaco Peyper has decided to hang up his whistle. The 43-year-old Peyper refereed the last of his 67 Tests at last year’s Rugby World Cup. He was involved in three RWC tournaments and handled numerous playoffs at the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, Super Rugby, Investec Champions Cup and Currie Cup level.

In a recent media interview with Media24, Peyper said "When teams lose, referees are blamed, often by the teams or the fans, I won't miss that. It was always a big challenge to overcome that or see what I could fix."

Peyper said the match between the All Blacks and France at the 2023 Rugby World Cup was the most intense match he officiated.

"In terms of intensity, would probably be the opening of the 2023 World Cup game between France and New Zealand."

"Both were firmly in the top three in terms of favourites for the World Cup. That was an incredible environment and a great Test match."

The lawyer said the World Cup opener was also an example of the negativity referees have to deal with now.

"[In that game] I walked away being seen by them (France) as a really good referee with a good feel for the game. But that was only because in the last 20 minutes, they (the French) got their act together, played proper rugby and scored the tries they needed to score."

"In the first 40 minutes, they were down, I didn't do anything different in the second half, but up to that point, I was jeered and whistled at. But when their team got their act together, I was seen as really fair and balanced.