Rugby World Cup 2019: Referee Jaco Peyper in hot water over 'inappropriate' image

Referee Jaco Peyper has come under fire for a social media post that shows him making light of a match-altering incident in Sunday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita.

In the 48th minute of the Wales v France game, the South African ref dealt French lock Sébastien Vahaamahina a red card for a nasty elbow to the head of Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright.

While the decision was unanimously deemed fair, it had a huge impact on the contest, swinging the momentum heavily in Wales' favour, after France appeared headed for victory.

Wales went on to win 20-19 against their under-manned opponents, courtesy of a last-gasp try from Wainwright to book a semi-final date against South Africa.

On Monday, a French journalist posted a picture of Peyper, where he appears to be poking fun at the indiscretion with a group of Welsh fans.

Some of the responses have been scathing, calling for Peyper's expulsion from the remainder of the tournament.

"Shameful," one tweeted. "Like his performance."

Another wrote: "As much as Vahaamahina deserves his red card, Jaco Peyper deserves to finish officiating in the World Cup after that. He can celebrate his match but this joke is unworthy of a referee."

Rugby World Cup 2019: Referee Jaco Peyper in hot water over 'inappropriate' image

Vahaamahina tearfully apologised to his teammates in the changing room after the loss. Coach Jacques Brunel said he believed Peyper made the right decision to dish the red card.

But Brunel was far less accepting when it came to Peyper and his officials' decision to allow Wainwright's game-sealing try to stand.

"The last try, there is a player who pulled on the ball and it went forward," said Brunel. "So, that's the decision I would like to see again because I am a little disappointed."

World Rugby is yet to confirm the referee appointments for this weekend's semi-finals, but veteran Peyper is highly likely to be in their plans.

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