Cape Town - Freek Burger, the former Test referee and manager of South
African referees, has been appointed a citing commissioner at the Rugby
World Cup starting in September 2015.
According to the SA Referees website, at one stage Burger held the South African record for Tests refereed,
in years when it was just 10, as opportunities for South African
referees were few and far between (it is now 70 for Jonathan Kaplan). Burger's last Test
was England v New Zealand at Twickenham in 1994.
He was chosen as a World Cup referee in 1987 and again in 1991, but was withdrawn
because South Africa did not take part.
In 1995, when there were
referees from all participating countries, he was appointed as the
manager of referees while South Africa's referees were Stef Neethling
and Ian Rogers.
Then, until his retirement in 2007, Burger was the first manager of
referees in the new professional dispensation and set about making South
Africa's referees the fittest in the world, which paid off most
obviously when André Watson refereed the World Cup finals in 1999 and
When Burger retired Watson took over his position and in 2008 he started as a citing commissioner.
In addition to many Super Rugby and Currie Cup matches, Burger has been
the citing commissioner at some 50 Tests, including matches in
Australia, Argentina and the UK.
Burger said of his appointment to this year's World Cup: "I feel as excited as when I was appointed to referee a Test."