South African referees dominate Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

South African referees dominate Super 14

15/12/2008 06:55:28 PM Comments (0)

South Africans account for four of the nine referees in the inaugural Merit Panel of officials announced by SANZAR on Monday to take charge of next season's Super 14 rugby matches.

South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby (SANZAR) announced last month that it would use referees on merit rather than on nationality to officiate in the southern hemisphere provincial Super 14 series in 2009.

It means referees will no longer be barred from refereeing their countrymen in matches against a team from another nation.

The move was made to ensure the best players would be refereed by the best officials, SANZAR said.

South Africans Marius Jonker, Craig Joubert, Jonathan Kaplan and Mark Lawrence head the pool, which also includes Australians Stuart Dickinson, Matt Goddard and James Leckie and New Zealanders Bryce Lawrence and Steve Walsh.

SANZAR said the group would control at least 75 per cent of matches in the tournament while a back-up panel of seven referees had been selected to officiate when Six Nations appointments, injury or unavailability make Merit Panel officials unavailable.

It said changes may be made to the panel during the season depending on the outcome of regular assessments by the referees' selectors.

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