Rugby World Cup: Australian Angus Gardner named to referee All Blacks' semi-final, Kiwi Ben O'Keeffe takes charge of England v South Africa

Australia's Angus Gardner will take charge of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina, as World Rugby confirmed the refereeing appointments for this weekend's matches.

Gardner, 39, has been named to officiate Saturday's (NZ time) semi-final, despite not taking charge of any of the four quarter-finals played last weekend.

Fellow Australian Nic Berry and England's Karl Dickson have been named as the two assistant referees to Gardner, while Wales' Ben Whitehouse will be the Television Match Official (TMO).  

Saturday's clash will be Gardner's first World Cup knockout match, although he has already taken charge of three previous matches at this year's tournament.

Elsewhere, New Zealand's Ben O'Keeffe has been retained to officiate the second semi-final, between South Africa and England at Paris' Stade de France.

O'Keeffe, 34, had the whistle for South Africa's 29-28 victory over France in the quarter-finals, which saw the hosts eliminated from their own tournament in the last eight.

The Kiwi's display drew criticism from French captain Antoine Dupont, but World Rugby has taken no notice to name O'Keeffe as the referee for Sunday's (NZ time) second semi.

O'Keeffe will be assisted by compatriot Paul Williams and Andrew Brace of Ireland, with fellow Kiwi Brendon Pickerill named as TMO.

South African referee Jaco Peyper was not considered to referee New Zealand v Argentina, after he suffered a calf injury in the first quarter-final last weekend.

Peyper and O'Keeffe were unable to officiate South Africa and the All Blacks respectively, due to hailing from the two countries.

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