Four South Africans have been named among the eight-man core ‘merit’ panel of referees announced by SANZAR on Thursday to whistle the 2010 Vodacom Super 14 competition.Sport24
Jonathan Kaplan, Craig Joubert, Mark Lawrence and Marius Jonker were named with three New Zealanders and one Australian on the merit panel. South Africans Jaco Peyper and Pro Legoete were named on the nine-man reserve panel.
Acting SANZAR Referee Manager Lyndon Bray, announced the panels. They will have the chance to officiate at super rugby level as required.
All eight referees in the core ‘merit’ panel have extensive experience at super rugby and international level.
“We are very fortunate to have such a strong team of internationally experienced referees – they set a very high standard of performance across all three SANZAR nations,” Bray said.
The selections see a return to super rugby for former New Zealand and international referee Steve Walsh after a one-year absence. Walsh, who now referees in Australia, will start in the reserve panel alongside Air New Zealand Cup referees Vinny Munro (New Zealand) and Nathan Pearce (Australia), and six other SANZAR referees.
“It’s great to have this high calibre of referees in the reserve crew and we fully expect that they will be promoted quickly into the senior group of starting referees.
“Steve Walsh is an experienced international referee and we welcome his experience into the camp. Several referees on the reserve panel, whom have previously refereed Super 14 matches, will have the opportunity to seek promotion to the merit panel, subject to form,” Bray said.
The referees and reserves have been selected for the first time under a new SANZAR selection process. The new SANZAR Referee Selectors – Colin Hawke (New Zealand), Andrew Cole (Australia) and Tappe Henning (South Africa) – will closely monitor referee performances as part of a promotion/relegation system.
“This performance-based system ensures we are open, transparent and accountable as match officials,” Bray said.
An unusually large number of reserve referees had been named in anticipation that some of them would be promoted quickly into the core group.
“We are also looking ahead to developing our depth in international referees, so some of our selections reflect the confidence we have in supporting upcoming talent from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,” Bray said.
“We will be staying true to the goal of at least eighty per cent of the matches being refereed by our top officials,” he said.
The referees selected for 2010 Super Rugby match official duty:
Jonathan Kaplan, Craig Joubert, Mark Lawrence, Marius Jonker (South Africa); Bryce Lawrence, Chris Pollock, Keith Brown (New Zealand); Stuart Dickinson (Australia).
Steve Walsh, Nathan Pearce, Paul Marks, Ian Smith (Australia); Jaco Peyper, Pro Legoete (South Africa); Vinny Munro, Garratt Williamson, Jonathon White (New Zealand).