Meet the official who was awarded World Rugby Referee of the Year in 2018

Angus Gardner was born on 24 August 1984 in Sydney, Australia.

He started refereeing in 1999 but only became a full-time ref in 2015. He refereed at his first Rugby World Cup in 2015, took charge of matches at the 2019 tournament and has been again selected for the 2023 edition.

He took charge of the Super Rugby final in 2018, the same year he was awarded World Rugby Referee of the Year.

Gardner has said he should have penalised England captain Owen Farrell for his tackle on South African Andre Esterhuizen. “I think in hindsight now, having discussed it with some other referees… The general consensus would be that a penalty was probably the outcome there that should have been given,” Gardner told Rupert Cox on the Will Greenwood podcast.

Related: The debate behind Owen Farrell’s tackle technique

“I think we need to see a wrap with both arms, and I think in hindsight – although he got pinned – there wasn’t a big enough wrap from both arms, really. There was a wrap with one arm, but there wasn’t a wrap with the other arm.”

Has Gardner gone viral before?

A video compilation of Gardner’s funniest moments as a ref went viral in 2019.

Gardner was asked about a mistake he made in the 2020 Bledisloe Cup which cost Australia the match. He was the assistant referee who missed Rieke Ioane nudging the touchline in the lead up to the winning try.

“It was just a genuine miss – sometimes it happens at that speed. Obviously I put my hand up for it,” Gardner told Gold AM’s Country Sport Breakfast.

And he dismissed that the error came from pressure, adding: “We’re there to referee the game whether it’s the All Blacks or the Wallabies or Wellington or Otago or Chiefs versus Crusaders… Our job’s just the game, it shouldn’t matter who the two teams are.”

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