Call It Like It Is – Johathan Kaplan Story

May 22, 2014
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The world of the international rugby referee has always been a closely guarded secret… until now.

As a Durban schoolboy, Jonathan Kaplan watched rugby at Kings Park every Saturday, dreaming of the day he would represent his country. Now, three decades later and at the age of 47, he reflects on the career highs and lows that saw him retire as the most capped international, Super Rugby and Currie Cup referee of all time.

But records and milestones are just a part of an intriguing memoir that affords the reader a rare glimpse into the world of international refereeing… and what lies behind that enigmatic, penetrating glare that is as typical of Jonathan Kaplan as his silver-grey patch of hair.

In Call It Like It Is, Kaplan describes exactly what it takes to be an international rugby referee: his gradual climb to the top, the sacrifices he had to make in his personal life, his struggle with injuries and rugby management, the toll an itinerant lifestyle exacted upon him, and much, much more. But this is not only an autobiography: Kaplan also offers his opinion on the role of technology in rugby, dissects his own successes and failures, debates the selection and assessment of referees, and, yes, gives his take on the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the Bryce Lawrence affair.

Containing all the guts and glory you¿d expect from an epic rugby tale, this is also the frank and forthright account of a man who, both in life and on the pitch, would only ever call it like it is.

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3 Comments

  1. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    May 22nd, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I wonder why retired refs are not allowed to do TMO duties for big internationals?

    They are no longer subjectively involved and might thus be more accurate? Or is the converse true?

  2. avatar Americano says:
    May 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Cue Graham Henry to plea for rules rework to allow for holding on ala the ban on kicking he squawked about in 2009 when HB Brussouw treated NZ as the Visigoths did Rome.
    -Good times..

  3. avatar DavidS says:
    May 23rd, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Or when Frans Steyn drop goaled them to death squealing that the drop should just count one point.

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