Three SA refs at RWC 2011
Craig Joubert (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Three South African match officials, Craig Joubert, Jonathan Kaplan and Shaun Veldsman, have been selected by the International Rugby Board (IRB) to officiate at the Rugby World Cup later this year in New Zealand.
Joubert and Kaplan are on the referees’ panel of 10, while Veldsman is one of the four dedicated television match officials (TMO).
André Watson, SARU’s Manager of Referees, said it’s a great achievement for South Africa to have two out of the ten referees at the Rugby World Cup.
“We’re extremely proud of Craig, Jonathan and Shaun, but also feel sorry for a few of our other very experienced match officials,” said Watson.
“Marius Jonker and Mark Lawrence narrowly missed out and we are disappointed along with them, but we’re also happy that South Africa will contribute one fifth of the referees at RWC 2011.
“Was it not for numbers limiting the match officials at RWC, I’m convinced we would have had even more referees, assistant referees of TMO’s at the tournament. The IRB has decided to take 10 referees only whereas in the past it was 12 and even 16.”
Only South Africa, England and Ireland have two referees each on the panel. The four other referees are from New Zealand, Australia, France and Wales.
Kaplan, with 63 international appearances, is the most experienced Test referee yet. He made his international refereeing debut in 1996. It will be his fourth appearance at a RWC tournament.
Joubert, who was a touch judge at RWC 2007, has handled 23 Tests to date, including two recently in the Six Nations.
Veldsman is a former Test referee who has specialised as a TMO since 2006.
Apart from Kaplan and Joubert, the other referees selected for RWC duty are Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand) Steve Walsh (Australia), Wayne Barnes (England), Dave Pearson (England), Alain Rolland (Ireland), George Clancy (Ireland), Romain Poite (France) and Nigel Owens (Wales).