Cape Town - Kiwi referee Glen Jackson is set to make the
history books this weekend, becoming the first New Zealander to both play and
referee 100 first-class games.
According to the SA Rugby Referees website, Jackson will
reach the significant milestone this weekend when he takes charge of the
Argentina v South Africa Test in Buenos Aires.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager, Neil Sorensen, said this
was a fantastic achievement for the former flyhalf who joined the New Zealand
professional referees team in 2010.
"An achievement such as this is noteworthy, especially
for someone who has only spent five years as a referee.
"It's a credit to Jacko who's brought the dedication,
skill and acumen which he displayed as a player into his new profession,"
However, for the man who will soon take his place amongst
fellow referees at the World Cup, the speed at which he has moved through the
grades has been a surprise.
"It's been a hell of a lot of hard work but at times
pretty rewarding as well," said Jackson.
"I never expected to start refereeing four or five
years ago and go to a World Cup, so I'm pretty stoked to be doing that."
Milestones are not uncommon for Jackson, whose playing
career included appearances for the Maori All Blacks, Chiefs, Bay of Plenty,
Waikato and Saracens.
He became the only player to have scored all four ways (try,
conversion, penalty goal and a dropped goal) in a Ranfurly Shield challenge and
then went on to become the only player in New Zealand to achieve that three
But as he readily admits, refereeing poses many different
challenges to working on how to out-fox your opponents.
"In rugby you could prepare yourself for an opposition
and what to do to try and get a win.
"As a referee you have to do exactly what is in front
of you. You can prepare all you like, but it's what is served up in front of
you (that you have to deal with). That, and being able to think quickly on your
"That has been the biggest change in terms of how you
prepare during the week and what preparation you can actually do. It's about
being ready for everything I suppose," he said.
With the Rugby World Cup looming as his next career
challenge, he will be sticking to the formula that has quickly propelled him to
the highest levels of the game.
"You could blow your whistle any time you want. Every
ruck there is something going on, it's more about understanding what the game
needs and when it is important to step up.
"You've just got to realise that you're never going to
be 100 percent right in any game. It's just about understanding the times that
you are wrong that you've got to go through it, and it's a massive talking
point. You've got to understand that. That's the big art of refereeing."