SANZAR name Super 14 refs

2009-01-21 09:53
Ref Mark Lawrence (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - SANZAR has named the match officials for the opening four rounds of the Super 14 competition, which kicks off on February 13.

Australian Matt Goddard will take charge of the opening match between the Highlanders and Brumbies in Dunedin while Bryce Lawrence of New Zealand will whistle the meeting between the Western Force and the Blues in Perth on the same evening.

Craig Joubert of South Africa is in charge of a local derby when he handles the match between the Lions and the Cheetahs in Johannesburg to complete the last of the opening day fixtures.

The appointments are the first to be made following SANZAR's ground-breaking decision in November to establish a panel founded on merit before nationality. Referees are no longer prevented from refereeing their countrymen in opposition to another nation. The move was made to ensure that whenever possible, the best players would be refereed by the best officials.

There are four instances in the opening round of matches where the principle of ability has over-ridden merit. "We are very excited about this new initiative," said Andre Watson, SANZAR's manager of referees. "The coaches and players have asked to be refereed by the best and that is what we are giving them."

The referees are drawn from an initial panel of nine - which will be reviewed during the season - although Test duties, injuries and other factors may see a reserve panel being drawn on.

The high demand for SANZAR referees for the Six Nations impacts on the availability of the panel with southern hemisphere officials taking charge of seven of the 15 Six Nations matches. That opens the way in round two for referees from the shadow and reserve panels to press their case for elevation. Paul Marks and Ian Smith - both of Australia - have appointments in New Zealand in round two.

Merit Panel (alphabetical order): Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Matt Goddard (Australia), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Mark Lawrence (South Africa), James Leckie (Australia), Steve Walsh (New Zealand)*.

Shadow Panel (alphabetical order):Paul Marks (Australia), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Ian Smith (Australia).

Reserve Bench (alphabetical order): Phillip Bosch (South Africa), Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Nathan Pearce (Australia).

*Note: Steve Walsh was not considered for selection at this point for the first four weeks of Super 14 due to a personal employment matter. The NZRU and Walsh will not make any further comment on the matter at this time.


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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


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.