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Joubert to referee final

South African Craig Joubert will referee the World Cup final between New Zealand and France at Eden Park next Sunday.

Joubert, who took charge of the second semi-final when New Zealand beat Australia, becomes the second South African official after Andre Watson to control a final.

His assistant referees will be Welshman Nigel Owens and Ireland's Alain Rolland.

Rolland, who sent off Wales captain Sam Warburton in Saturday's opening semi-final against France, will be the reserve referee.

Englishman Wayne Barnes, meanwhile, will control the bronze medal match on Friday between Wales and Australia, assisted by Romain Poite (France) and George Clancy (Ireland).

"The IRB (International Rugby Board) match official selection committee was delighted with Craig and Alain's performances in the semi-finals," IRB referee manager Paddy O'Brien said.

"Alain will perform the reserve referee role should he be required.

"We may be nearing the conclusion of what has been a truly superb Rugby World Cup, but our focus remains firmly on consistency, penalising the clear and the obvious and tackling the 'big five' areas.

"Collectively, we continue to work together as a unit and maintain a zero tolerance attitude towards infringements and foul play across the key areas of the game."

Joubert, 33, added: "It is an enormous honour to get the final and I would like to thank Paddy and the committee for giving me the opportunity. The whole team has performed superbly, assisted each other and bonded over the course of the last six weeks. I am now really looking forward to getting out there and enjoying the occasion."

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