Ref Watch: Jérôme Garcès
Jérôme Garcès will officiate the game between the Springboks and the Wallabies on Saturday.
CAPE TOWN - Bienvenue à l'Afrique du Sud Monsieur Garces. Welcome to South Africa Mr Garces.
Jerome Garces will referee his first Springbok Test on Saturday when the Boks take on the Wallabies at Newlands in Cape Town.
Garces was one of Romain Poite's assistant referees in the Boks' last outing against the All Blacks, when Bismarck du Plessis was sent off early in the second half. To be fair on Garces, he wasn't involved in the controversial decisions.
The Frenchman, who turns 40 in October, made his international debut in 2010. He has only refereed a handful of big test matches. Like a certain other French referee we have heard a fair amount about in the last two weeks, Garces also enjoys handing out cards. According to the New Zealand-based news site Stuff.co.nz, Garces gave out 11 yellow cards in 14 matches he refereed in the Heineken Cup last year.
The previous test match, of which Garces was in charge, was the All Blacks' 28-13 win over Argentina in the 2013 Rugby Championship. In that game, Garces awarded 20 penalties which is not a lot compared to other referees. But he did issue a yellow card against Argentina for continuous infringements in the first half.
One area in which Garces has been particularly strict in the past is the scrum. In 2011, Garces refereed a club game between Saracens and Ospreys and at one stage in the match, awarded 11 penalties from 12 scrums.
In the All Blacks' win over Argentina, Garces awarded half his penalties for infringements at the scrum. When you compare how few scrums there are in a game in relation to the number of break downs, it shows Garces' willingness to penalise this facet of play.
The dominant side at the scrum on Saturday will be certain to pick up a few penalties in this area of the game and could even force a yellow card to be awarded, though Poite's shenanigans of two weeks ago might make Garces think twice before delving into his pocket.
Jerome Garces had the privilege of refereeing the Top 14 final this year in front of a crowd of over 80,000 people. This will have prepared him well for the Newlands fans on Saturday who will still be seething after what happened in Auckland the last time a Frenchman was involved with the Boks.
Remember to follow @EWNSport on Twitter and #RefWatch to see how he performs on Saturday.