Joubert in tip-top shape
Craig Joubert (Gameplan Media)
Durban - South Africa’s top rugby referee Craig Joubert, who will be on duty as assistant referee in the third and final Test of the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia this weekend, has recently teamed up with top sports scientists to ensure he is in the best possible physical shape to carry out his international duties.
Joubert, who was in charge of the second Test last weekend and also refereed the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup final, has earned the respect of many have developed a reputation for delivering consistently high performances on both domestic and international stages, with this weekend promising to add to his already impressive list of achievements.
Joubert has been working closely with the experts at the new Prime Human Performance Institute, to prepare himself for the demands of the strenuous modern day rugby schedule.
"Over the past few years rugby has gotten noticeably quicker.
"Rules have been tweaked and changed which has increased the ball in play time significantly and as such players have had to train harder and run faster in order to keep up and perform at a top level," said Joubert.
"Therefore the same has to be said for referees.
"The game nowadays is far more physically demanding than it was a couple of years ago – which has been backed up by the information gathered by the GPS units I’ve worn for the past three or four seasons – and we’re not only required to run further week in and week out, but faster as well.
"So there is no question the game is far more physically demanding for us as referees these days as well.
With the game of rugby having quickened dramatically in recent years, the pressure from spectators and coaches alike for referees to constantly make the correct decision and the strenuous load put on a referee’s body by the thousands of kilometers of international travel they clock up annually, Joubert recognized the need to count these issues and called on the Durban-based outfit for help.
Through a variety of training techniques, regular general and pre-match specific sessions as well as vital pieces of personal physical management information, Prime’s team of experts have exposed the already physically fit Joubert to a new world of conditioning with the hope of not only keeping him on the park for the full current season, but extend his career as a top international referee as well.
"As a referee we don’t only need to be fit enough to be able to do the obvious and keep up with play for the duration of the game, but there is also a huge need to ensure you’re as fit as possible because when you get tired you lose concentration and you start to make poor decisions.
"These can obviously have a crucial bearing on a game’s outcome, especially at international level, therefore it is crucial for me to be in the best physical condition I possibly can be in and Prime really has helped me achieve this this season far better than I ever have on my own.
"Training has always been quite a personal thing for me and I’ve generally just been left to my own devices however I recognized that with the game having changed so much, I couldn’t just keep doing things the way I have been doing them if wanted to continue to be amongst the best referees in the world.
"I realized I needed to stay innovative in my training so that I am so well prepared physically that I am prepared for more than just the eighty minutes of a game and that’s where the help I’ve received from the guys at Prime has just been fantastic," he added.