SA ref joins Super Rugby ranks

2015-01-26 09:06
Jaco van Heerden (Gallo)

Cape Town - SANZAR has announced its referee squad for the forthcoming Super Rugby season with Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand) and Jaco van Heerden (South Africa) promoted and in line for debut during 2015.

O'Keeffe started refereeing whilst at medical school in Dunedin and quickly progressed through the ranks. He has featured in the Heartland Championship, ITM Cup, as a Super Rugby assistant and at the 2014 Junior World Championship where he earned appointment to the final between England and South Africa.

His father Peter also refereed at provincial level and when he's not in the middle, O'Keeffe practices as an eye doctor in Wellington, New Zealand.

Pretoria-born Van Heerden meanwhile is an Advocate to the High Court of South Africa and joins Super Rugby ranks having made rapid progress applying law on rugby fields throughout his home country.

The 32-year old handled himself with aplomb in his first Currie Cup match during the 2014 season and it was no surprise that he was awarded a semi final later in the year.

A University of Pretoria Law Graduate, Van Heerden played rugby for his university before later turning his attention to refereeing. The duo were among the 16 match officials that attended SANZAR's annual Super Rugby Referee Camp, staged this year at the International College of Management in Manly on Sydney's northern beaches.

In the midst of the three-day camp, SANZAR Game Manager Lyndon Bray said, "Due to the global nature of our sport and the demands of refereeing, it is incredibly rare to have everyone in the same place at the same time, so it's vital that we make the most of opportunities like this.

"Our core objectives for 2015 are 'high intensity, high octane' and affording players the confidence to play and contest for the ball, which aims to consolidate Super Rugby as the best rugby competition in the world; not only as a product of having the best players, coaches and referees, but also because of the way the game is played.

"After consulting the coaches following the 2014 Super Rugby season, we seek to achieve those goals by way of allowing quick ball at the tackle, faster and more positive scrums, proper setup and defence of the lineout to maul area and ensuring there is space across the field to allow the teams to play as they want to."

The 2015 Super Rugby season kicks off on the weekend of February 13-15:

Friday, February 13

Crusaders v Rebels - 08:35
Bumbies v Reds - 10:40
Lions v Hurricanes - 19:10

Saturday, February 14

Blues v Chiefs - 08:35
Sharks v Cheetahs - 17:05
Bulls v Stormers - 19:10

Sunday, February 15

Waratahs v Force - 07:05

2015 Super Rugby Referee Squad

Stuart Berry (South Africa - 12 Super Rugby, 4 Tests)
Nick Briant (New Zealand - 13 Super Rugby, 2 Tests)
Mike Fraser (New Zealand - 14 Super Rugby, 4 Tests)
Angus Gardner (Australia - 14 Super Rugby, 3 Tests)
Rohan Hoffmann (Australia - 16 Super Rugby - 3 Tests)
Glen Jackson (New Zealand - 30 Super Rugby, 9 Tests)
Jason Jaftha (South Africa - 6 Super Rugby, 1 Test)
Craig Joubert (South Africa - 84 Super Rugby, 54 Tests)
Andrew Lees (Australia - 12 Super Rugby, 2 Tests)
Matt O'Brien (Australia - 2 Super Rugby, 0 Tests)
Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand - 0 Super Rugby, 0 Tests)
Jaco Peyper (South Africa - 48 Super Rugby, 19 Tests)
Chris Pollock (New Zealand - 61 Super Rugby, 19 Tests)
Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa - 4 Super Rugby, 0 Tests)
Jaco van Heerden (South Africa - 0 Super Rugby, 0 Tests)
Steve Walsh (Australia 108 Super Rugby, 60 Tests)

Read more on:    rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.