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Alain Rolland to replace Joel Jutge in World Rugby role

Duif du Toit /Gallo Images/Getty Images

Former international referee Alain Rolland will replace Joel Jutge as World Rugby's High Performance 15's Match Officials' Manager.

Jutge decided to stand down after four years in the position, with Rolland officially taking over the role on April 4.

Rolland refereed a total of 66 Tests during his career, including the 2007 Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa, one World Cup semifinal, two World Cup quarterfinals and three European Cup finals. His last international Test in charge was the 2014 Six Nations clash between Wales and France in Cardiff.

Rolland said: "This is a hugely exciting opportunity to stay involved in our great game and I am looking forward to it immensely. It will be an honour and a privilege to work with the world's best referees while also being involved in identifying and coaching the top younger match officials who will be the Rugby World Cup referees of the future."

Chairman of the World Rugby Match Officials Selection Panel John Jeffrey said: "We are delighted to announce Alain's appointment to this important and challenging role. As a referee, he was consistently one of the best in the world for many years, showing a deep understanding of and empathy for the game. Since then, he has stayed involved and has worked as a consultant for World Rugby and a number of member unions, applying that knowledge and experience to coaching and developing the next crop of elite match officials.

"As previously stated, Joël has done a great job in this role over the past four years and I am sure Alain will build on that progress as we continue to improve refereeing standards and consistency at the highest level."