Cape Town - Aimee Barrett-Theron has
become the first woman to earn selection to SA Rugby’s Premier Panel of
referees after she was promoted to the top tier of match officials, along with
Cwengile “JD” Jadezweni, Stuart Berry and AJ Jacobs.
It means Barrett-Theron (30),
who recently refereed the opening match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in
Ireland and the SA Rugby Under-20 Championship final in Welkom, will be in
contention to referee matches in senior men’s competitions next year.
In addition to these promotions,
SA Rugby also announced that Jaco van Heerden has hung up his whistle to focus
on his career as an advocate.
Two other experienced match officials have also
decided to retire from refereeing, but both Lourens van der Merwe and Pro
Legoete will continue their careers as TMOs.
Banks Yantolo, SA Rugby’s
Referee Manager, said the four referees promoted to the Premier Panel had
earned their stripes and have what it takes to succeed at the top.
“Aimee, ‘JD’ and AJ have all
delivered on the promise they’ve shown over the last couple of years, while
Stuart has been around for a while and has performed at a consistently high
level in recent times,” said Yantolo.
“All the referees on our
Premier Panel have Test experience and they are wonderful ambassadors to South
African rugby wherever in the world they go.
“They are rightly the cream of
the crop here.
“I am also excited about the
quality of match officials on our lower panels – many of these referees have
the potential to make it all the way to the top.
“We know the National A Panel, as
our next tier, will be pushing hard to get onto the Premier Panel, while it is
very encouraging to welcome eight new inclusions onto the National B Panel from
our Academy Squad. We are looking forward to an awesome season in 2018.”
SA Rugby Referee Panels for
Premier Panel: Quinton
Immelman, Jaco Peyper, Rasta Rasivhenge, Egon Seconds, Marius van der
Westhuizen, Stuart Berry, AJ Jacobs, Cwengile Jadezweni, Aimee Barrett-Theron.
National A Panel: Ben
Crouse, Stephan Geldenhuys, Ruhan Meiring, Paul Mente, Vusi Msibi, Jaco
Pretorius, Archie Sehlako.
National B Panel: Jaco
Kotze, Pieter Maritz, Mpho Matsaung, Sindile Ngcese, Christopher Allison, Johre
Botha, Griffin Colby, Jabian Jeftha, Phumzile Mbewu, Naka Bulelani, Eduan Nel,
Divan Uys, Rodney Boneparte, Ricus van der Hoven.
Women’s Panel: Siyanda
Ketse, Maria Mabote, Le-Ann MacClune, Lusanda Mtiya, Ashleigh Murray, Bulela
Qwane, Cameron Dyers.
Sevens Panel: Christopher
Allison, Aimee Barrett-Theron, Johre Botha, Griffin Colby, Ben Crouse, Morne
Ferreira, Rasta Rasivhenge.
TMO Panel: Christie du
Preez, Johan Greeff, Marius Jonker, Joey Klaaste-Salmans, Shaun Veldsman,
Willie Vos, JJ Wagner, Lourens van der Merwe, Pro Legoete.
Yantolo, Eugene Daniels, Dennis Immelman, Mark Lawrence, Balie Swart, Deon van
Reviewers: Jacques Hugo, Dennis Immelman, Thuso Mngqibisa, Willie Roos,
Johann Alberts, Willie Hess, Dawie Oberholzer, Arthur Southgate.