Jonathan Kaplan has been appointed to referee the Currie Cup Final at Newlands on Saturday.
It is a wonderful way to for him to end his career as a professional referee in South Africa. The Currie Cup has been in competition since 1892 but there have been finals only since 1939. In all 26 referees have refereed finals. This one will be Kaplan’s sixth since his first one in 2002.
Only André Watson with seven has refereed more Currie Cup Finals. Doing this one at Newlands, means that Kaplan will have refereed finals at all of the major venues – Loftus Versfeld, Ellis Park, Free State Stadium, Kings Park and of course Newlands, great and glorious Newlands. Kaplan, rugby’s most capped referee ever, is thrilled at the appointment. SA Referees try to choose those who have been best in each division. And so the two assistant referees are specialists who have done well.
The referees for the Under-21 and Under-19 Finals are those who have been judged to have done best in those competitions.
Meanwhile Craig Joubert, back from the Bledisloe Cup, will be refereeing the second of the crucial promotion-relegation matches between Griquas and Mpumalanga’s Pumas.
The full list of appointments for these crucial matches:
Currie Cup Final Western Province vs Sharks at Newlands Referee: Jonathan Kaplan reserve referee: Jaco Peyper Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Stefan Breytenbach TMO: Deon van Blommestein
Promotion-relegation Pumas vs Griquas at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit Referee: Craig Joubert Assistant referees: Sieg van Staden, Cobus Wessels TMO: Johan Greeff
Under-21 Final Western Province vs Blue Bulls at Newlands Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Stefan Breytenbach Television match official: Deon van Blommestein
Under-19 Final Golden Lions vs Blue Bulls at Newlands Referee: Rodney Bonaparte Assistant referees: Daniel Fortuin, Marc van Zyl Television match official: Deon van Blommestein