Jaco Peyper Reveals The Absolute Worst Player to Referee - Ruck

Jaco Peyper Reveals The Absolute Worst Player to Referee

International rugby union referees have a pretty tough gig.

It’s their job to officiate 30 players who are desperate to win in front of tens of thousands of supporters who complain and abuse you for every decision you make.

Yes, they’re probably well rewarded financially but is there another job in the world where you get as much abuse and scrutiny by so many people? Probably not.

In fairness, dissent in international rugby isn’t as big of a problem compared to something like football.

But who are the worst players to manage in rugby history? 

Well, we’ve discovered quotes from six of the world’s finest officials down the years who told stories about trying to control some of football’s bad boys.

Interestingly, one name cropped up on three occasions…

Jaco Peyper – Johnny Sexton

The two had a number of run-ins down the years, which culminated with the 2023 Champions Cup final.

The EPCR has made available the complete transcript of the disciplinary proceedings concerning Johnny Sexton, which features comprehensive testimonies from the officials involved as well as the player’s own account of the incident.

Andy Farrell, Head Coach of Ireland and Johnny Sexton, Captain of Ireland pose with the Guinness Six Nations trophy during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

This extensive 36-page document released by the EPCR encompasses the six-hour-long disciplinary hearing and includes detailed testimonies from Peyper and his assistants.

“I was very pleased that nobody on my team of four reacted,” said Peyper

“I have not received any contact post-match around this matter from Leinster or Johnny Sexton, and also no explanation or apology of any form for this conduct,” 

Matthew Carley – Steve Borthwick

On Borthwick: “A difficult question. When I first started refereeing in the Premiership Steve Borthwick was one of the guys who was pretty intimidating.

“He saw that everything was on ‘his terms, whether you like it or not’. He had such presence. I think you learn how to deal with people like that as a ref, but Steve Borthwick, was as tough as they come.” 

Steve Borthwick and Neal Hatley talk before the Guinness Six Nations Championship match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK