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Mihai Macovei

Mihai Macovei

Romanian captain Mihai Macovei will miss his country’s pivotal final Pool D match with Italy on Sunday after being suspended for a fortnight for a dangerous tackle.

The 28-year-old loose forward was hailed as a hero earlier in the week for his 2 tries in Romania’s superb comeback from 0 / 15 down to beat Canada 17 / 15 and set his team up for Sunday’s match where the winner will seal 3rd place and automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

However, he fell foul of the citing commissioner and has now been found guilty of a dangerous tackle during the Canada match.

“Mihai Macovei has been suspended for 2 weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10(4)(e),” read the statement from the disciplinary commission.

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England Rugby Upside Down

World Rugby is investigating reports that England’s coaching staff made an illegal approach to match officials at halftime in their loss to Australia.

According to media reports 2 England coaches made the approach as the 2 teams left the field at Twickenham on Saturday, with England trailing 3 / 17. Head coach Stuart Lancaster was not among them however.

“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials,” said a World Rugby statement.

“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at halftime during a match,” the statement added.

Media reports have suggested that there is CCTV footage from the tunnel where the alleged incident took place.

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Hansie Graaff

Hansie Graaff

Eastern Province Kings fullback Hansie Graaff was suspended for 1 match, after being found guilty of striking an opponent in their Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last Saturday.

As a result of the sanction he will miss the EP King’s next match against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.

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Craig Joubert

Craig Joubert

Referee Craig Joubert has made the cut with 3 fellow South Africans for the team of 12 match officials selected for the 2015 / 2016 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, World Rugby announced on Monday.

Joubert will link up with Ben Crouse, Rasta Rasivhenge and Marius van der Westhuizen and 8 new colleagues following the completion of Rugby World Cup 2015 and before the opening Round in Dubai. He will remain available for 15-a-side duty throughout the season.

Rasivhenge is also among the 10 officials who have been selected for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, which will also kick off in the United Arab Emirates.

The desire from the world’s top 15s referees to be a part of the match officials’ team, heightens the already tough competition for places as excitement builds in anticipation of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Glen Jackson

Glen Jackson

New Zealand referee Glen Jackson is set to make the history books this weekend, becoming the 1st New Zealander to both play and referee 100 first-class games.

Jackson will reach the significant milestone this coming Sunday August 16 when he takes charge of the Pumas vs Springbgoks match in Buenos Aires.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager – Neil Sorensen said this was a fantastic achievement for the former flyhalf who joined the New Zealand professional referees team in 2010.

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Craig Joubert

Craig Joubert

Jaco Peyper

Jaco Peyper

Rasta Rasivhenge

Rasta Rasivhenge

3 Of South Africa’s leading referees have renewed their contracts with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) for a further 4 years, the organisation announced on Thursday.

Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper, who will officiate at the Rugby World Cup in September and October, have signed contract extensions for a further 4 years, while Rasta Rasivhenge recently returned to South Africa from his sabbatical in Australia and has also signed on until 2019.

Plans to extend the contracts of a number of other leading referees are currently being examined.

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WhistleSANZAR has named the match officials for the 3rd and last Round of the abbreviated Rugby Championship of 2015.

England’s Wayne Barnes will officiate in the championship decider in Sydney and he will be assisted by Nigel Owens and Frederico Anselmi as Assistant referees. Shaun Veldsman will do TMO duty.

Frenchman Romain Poite will referee the Springboks vs Los Pumas game in Durban and will be assited by JP Doyle and Marius Mitrea, with Ben Skeen doing the TMO duties.

Poite is well remembered among Springbok fans for the controvertial sending off of Bismarck du Plessis in a Test against the All Blacks 2 years ago.

Poite harshly and erroneously Yellow-Carded Du Plessis for a tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter before later dishing out another Yellow (which automatically meant a Red Card) to the hooker as the Springboks went on to lose 29 / 15 at Eden Park in Auckland.

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WhistleSANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 2 of The Rugby Championship.

Jerome Garces starts the action this weekend in Johannesburg when South Africa’s Springboks host the All Blacks from New Zealand.

In the 2nd match of this Round, Argentina’s Los Pumas host the Wallabies from Australia in Mendoza and the referee is Jaco Peyper.

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WhistleLast weekend Jaco Peyper was the referee for the Super Rugby Final, a brilliant match, brilliantly refereed.

This week Jaco is going from Wellington to Apia for the 1st ever match between Samoa and New Zealand in Samoa. The 1st match between the 2 countries was in Auckland in 1993.

There is great excitement for the match in Samoa.

This month international matches start to pick up as The Rugby Championship starts in SANZAR territories and countries have the Rugby World Cup in mind.

In Windhoek this week there is a match between Namibia and Russia as both countries look to September’s start to the World Cup.

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André Watson

André Watson

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) today confirmed the arbitration award that was issued by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to the effect that the employment of André Watson, the General Manager Referees, with SARU has been terminated.

At the beginning of this year, a number of people within the Referees’ Department lodged a grievance against Watson and SARU commissioned an independent investigation into the grievance.

As a result of the findings, the CCMA was requested to consider certain allegations relating to Watson.  Contrary to some earlier reports, the allegations that were dealt with by the CCMA did not relate to racism, financial irregularities, misappropriation or match fixing but to the relationship between Watson and a number of people within the Referees’ Department and in turn the impact of such relationship on SARU.

The CCMA found that the allegations that had been levelled against Watson had been proved and as a consequence the CCMA found that the employment of Watson with SARU should be terminated.  The CCMA’s finding is final and binding on SARU and Watson.

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Jaco Peyper, referee for the opening game of the Rugby World Cup

Jaco Peyper, referee for the opening game of the Rugby World Cup


South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will have the honour of refereeing the opening match at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England as the hosts take on Fiji at Twickenham to kick off 44 days of unmissable rugby action.

Peyper, who is 35 and has refereed 20 internationals to date, has been appointed to the game on 18 September and he will be joined by assistant referees John Lacey of Ireland and Stuart Berry of South Africa while another South African, Shaun Veldsman, will be television match official.

With a further 7 matches taking place over the subsequent 2 days, there is no time for the match officials to ease their way into the tournament gently with no fewer than 22 of the 23 officials involved in some capacity that 1st weekend.

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Jaco Peyper

Jaco Peyper

Jaco Peyper of South Africa has been appointed to referee the Final of Super Rugby 2015. He will thus be heading for Wellington, New Zealand for this great match.

When he heard of the appointment on Sunday, Peyper was understandably excited, as was André Watson, South Africa’s refereeing boss.

Peyper, a Bloemfontein lawyer, is no stranger to finals. On his way up the refereeing ladder, when he was doing mainly Under 19 matches, he refereed the provincial Under 19 Final. When he was further up the ladder, he refereed the Under 21 Final. Then higher still, he refereed the Vodacom Cup Final. Then in 2012 he refereed the Currie Cup Final and now the Super Rugby Final.

It is the 23rd Super Rugby Final since the 1st one in 1993. Of the 22 finals already refereed South African referees have refereed 14 – André Watson (5), Jonathan Kaplan (3), Craig Joubert (3) and Freek Burger, Tappe Henning and Mark Lawrence (1 each). Peyper will be the 6th South African referee to referee a Final.

Peyper is now on the way to being a vastly experienced referee – after 22 Tests, 60 Super Rugby matches and 55 Currie Cup matches.

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WhistleFormer rugby players, Monty Dumond, Egon Seconds, Jacques Nieuwenhuis and Mpho Matsaung will take to the field as referees in the Coca-Cola Academy Week at the Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbiljpark from 6 to 9 July.

Dumond played provincial rugby for the Sharks, Eastern Province, Griquas and Boland, while Seconds represented Western Province and Griquas; Matsaung and Nieuwenhuis played for the Valke. Nieuwenhuis also played international rugby for Namibia, which included appearances at the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups in France and New Zealand.

Dumond and Nieuwenhuis also made their mark in the Cell C Community Cup, where Dumond represented GAP Management Despatch up until this year’s Easter Playoffs in Rustenburg, while Nieuwenhuis played for GS Metals Brakpan last season.

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Scottish Rugby Referee Commissioner: Tappe Henning

Scottish Rugby Referee Commissioner Tappe Henning has recently signed a permanent deal to continue the work he started at the tail end of 2013. Spending 5 minutes in his company is more than enough to suggest that the personable South African is really making a difference to a facet of rugby that he harbours a clear passion for.

Having brought through the likes of Craig Joubert, who officiated in the 2011 World Cup final, Tappe’s reputation for spotting refereeing talent precedes him and now he wants to put Scotland back on the arbitrary map.

Tappe Henning said: “The real purpose of me coming to Scotland was to implement a high performance structure for referees so that we can train, educate and coach Scottish referees to Tier 1 Test level.

“The concerns were raised when there were no Scottish match officials at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the situation has repeated itself now in 2015, which is worrying coming from a country which has always traditionally had a lot of them.

“In short, we needed a professional structure with support for referees in all aspects of it and getting pathways introduced to identify future referees to deliver top quality match officials for international rugby.”

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WhistleSanzar are investigating a new concept – a so-called “referees bunker” – to be implemented in Vodacom Super Rugby in the near future to try and cut down on television match official decisions that are both controversial and cause an unnecessary delay in the game.

Sanzar refereeing boss Lyndon Bray confirmed that he was investigating the use of such a system – which has been implemented in Australia’s NRL Rugby League system, whereby the television match official was not at the game. He would rather be in a “bunker” where he would have access to at least nine different angles of play, and able to control which angles to look at if a decision was to be taken. The bunker would be situated off site, and connected via technology, taking away the emotion of fans in front of the TMO box.

After the shocking TMO decision that robbed the Vodacom Bulls of a try last weekend against the Rebels, and several other controversial decisions over the past few months, the sport’s guardians are looking for new and innovative ways to use technology better to aid the game and make a positive contribution.

“We all know that in today’s sport, technology is a critical aspect of the game & is going to remain so. None of us want to see errors when we use technology in sport & we all continue to work on the best technology to support the right decisions,” Bray said.

“Recently, I have been investigating options for how the TMO & / or referee receive the camera angles, in order to enhance the pictures they see & make decisions from. At the moment, we are fully under the control of the Broadcast feed & we are exploring options to help us “control the camera angles”. This can be done in a couple of different ways, but of course also comes at a potentially significant cost.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 18 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

It is the last Round of the League Phases of Super Rugby in 2015.

This weekend sees 7 matches, 2 on Friday 12 June and 5 on Saturday 13 June 2015.

The weekend’s action is kicked off in Auckland on Friday at 09:35 SA Time, when Angus Gardner will referee the match between the Blues and Highlanders. Thereafter, also on Friday at 11:40 SA Time, the Melbourne Rebels host the Western Force in Melbourne, where Andrew Lees will be in charge of proceedings.

On Saturday the action starts early again, at 07:30 SA Time, when the Brumbies host the Crusaders in Canberra, with Jaco Peyper the referee in charge. We hop over to New Zealand again, to New Plymouth, where the Chiefs meet the Hurricanes at 09:35 SA Time, with Chris Pollock in control of the whistle.

Back over the pond to Australia, where the Waratahs host the Reds in Sydney at 11:40 SA Time, with Nick Briant the man in the middle.

Over to South Africa, where the Vodacom Bulls host the Toyota Cheetahs at 17:05 SA Time in Pretoria, with Craig Joubert to officiate the game. The last match of the weekend takes place in Durban at 19:10 SA Time, where Glen Jackson will officiate in the derby between the Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 17 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

This weekend sees 7 matches in Super Rugby.

The Cell C Sharks have a BYE Weekend.

The weekend’s action is kicked off by Jaco Peyper in the Friday match between the Hurricanes vs Highlanders in Napier at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT), whereafter we have a little break before the Western Force host the Brumbies in Perth at 13:00 SA Time (19:00 AWST, 21:00 AEST, 23:00 NZ Time, 11:00 GMT), where Angus Gardner will officiate the game.

On Saturday the action starts earlier than normal when the Melbourne Rebels host the Vodacom Bulls in Melbourne at 07:30 SA Time (15:30 AEST, 17:30 NZ Time, 05:30 GMT), with Nick Briant the referee. We then go back accross the pond to New Zealand where the Blues play the Crusaders in Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) and where Chris Pollock will be in charge of the whistle. Once again we cross the Tasman, back to Australia, where the Reds host the Chiefs in Brisbane where Mike Fraser wields the power, at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT).

Over to South Africa and we have 2 matches on SA soil for the Round, first the Toyota Cheetahs play the Waratahs in Bloemfontein at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT, 23:00 AEST, Sunday 01:00 NZ Time), with Glen Jackson in charge.

The last match of the Round takes place in Cape Town at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST, Sunday 03:05 NZ Time) when the DHL Stormers host the Emirates Lions and with Stuart Berry as referee.

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WhistleSANZAR has named the Match Officials for Round 16 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

This weekend sees 7 matches, with 3 matches on Friday 29 May and 4 matches on Saturday 30 May.

The Blues have a BYE Weekend.

The weekend’s action is kicked off by Ben O’Keeffe at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) in the humdinger between the Crusaders and Hurricanes in Nelson. Also on Friday the Brumbies vs Vodacom Bulls match which takes place at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT) in Canberra, is officiated by Marius van der Westhuizen. On Friday evening in Durban the Cell C Sharks host the Melbourne Rebels at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Saturday 03:10 AEST, Saturday 05:10 NZ Time) and the match will be handled by Jaco van Heerden.

On Saturday the Highlanders host the Chiefs in Invercargill at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) and the match is officiated by Nick Briant.

In Western Australia the Western Force is up against the Reds in Perth at 11:40 SA Time (17:40 AWST, 19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT) and the whistle will belong to Matt O’Brien.

Over to South Africa and 1st up on Saturday at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST, Sunday 03:05 NZ Time) it will be the DHL Stormers vs Toyota Cheetahs in Cape Town, where Craig Joubert will preside over proceedings.

The last game of the Round will take place in Johannesburg where the Emirates Lions host the Waratahs at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 03:10 AEST, Sunday 05:10 NZ Time). Jaco Peyper will be the referee.

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Tolu Latu

Tolu Latu

Will Skelton

Will Skelton

2 Waratahs players were cited and suspended after the niggly Waratahs display on the weekend in their match against the Crusaders. Will Skelton was suspended for 2 weeks and Tolu Latu for 4 weeks.

It appears that the Waratahs will appeal the findings of both Hearings.


Will Skelton:

A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Will Skelton of the Waratahs guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend. Skelton has been suspended for 2 weeks up to and including Saturday 6 June 2015.

The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 23 May 2015.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held by Robert Stelzner SC via video conference at 15:30 AEST (17:30 NZ Time, 07:30 SA Time) on 25 May 2015. Mike Mika was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser.

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WhistleAfter a pivotal Round of fixtures played at high intensity, SANZAR has had the opportunity review each match and announce its Match Official appointments for the forthcoming weekend.

SANZAR Game Manager Lyndon Bray said, “While we acknowledge that the match officials cannot get it right all of the time, there are some basic standards that have simply not been upheld over this past weekend, resulting in some disappointing decisions and selection consequences.

“A thorough and robust system is in place whereby the development and performance of each match official is reviewed by SANZAR and its member unions on a daily basis and like any athlete participating in elite competition, our referees are accountable to performance levels for the competition.

“Appointments are made weekly based on performance reviews from the previous round but also includes an evaluation of the current form of each official over the term of the competition.

“We have completed our reviews from the weekend and have followed strong internal processes as we prepare our team to reach their physical, mental and technical peaks as we head into the critical last four rounds of the regular season and Super Rugby Finals Series.

“Public confidence in match officials is essential to the ongoing success of our product and we will continue striving to enhance the quality and accountability of refereeing across all SANZAR competitions.”

This next weekend’s Round 15 sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday 22 May and 5 on Saturday 23 May.

The Brumbies have a BYE weekend.

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André Watson

André Watson

Under-fire South African referees boss Andre Watson is set to hear his fate at a disciplinary hearing chaired by an independent arbitrator.

According to reports, the process is likely to be concluded on Wednesday.

Meetings were already held with Watson last month after complaints were laid against the former referee by members of the South African Rugby Referees Association (SARRA).

At the heart of the matter was the unhappiness of some SARRA members with Watson’s management over the 11 years that he has been in office.

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Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Retired former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has taken aim at officialdom he feels are sweeping under the carpet mistakes by under-performing match officials.

Writing in his weekly column on his website, RatetheRef, Kaplan was particularly scathing of Australian referee Angus Gardner, New Zealander Chris Pollock, along with TMO’s Ian Smith (Australia) and Aaron Paterson (New Zealand).

Despite describing Gardner as “one of the best so far this season, Kaplan did not hold back over his performance in the Rebels’ 42 / 22 win over the Blues in Melbourne last Friday.

He felt there was a “critical error” by Gardner at an “important juncture” in the game when he allowed a quick throw-in after the ball was handed to the thrower by the ball boy.

“The TMO (Smith) didn’t seem to be that interested in this misdemeanour either, and incredibly allowed the try even after a number of slomo replays,” Kaplan said.

“This cannot be good enough at this level! At any level.

“The public is being robbed of the contest.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for for Round 14 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

3 Teams have BYE weekends, namely the Crusaders, Western Force and DHL Stormers.

There are 6 matches on the weekend, 2 on Friday 15 May and 4 on Saturday 16 May.

The action is kicked off in Auckland where the Blues host the Vodacom Bulls at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT), officiated by Mike Fraser. Also on Friday at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT) the Reds host the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane where the game will be controlled by Andrew Lees.

On Saturday first up it will be the Hurricanes vs Chiefs in Wellington, blown by Glen Jackson and the game starts at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT). The match is followed by the clash between the Waratahs and Cell C Sharks in Sydney at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT), refereed by Rohan Hoffmann.

Later on Saturday in South Africa the Emirates Lions host the Brumbies in Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST) and the game will be handled by Jaco Peyper. The last game of the Round is in Bloemfontein at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 05:10 NZ Time) where the Toyota Cheetahs host the Highlanders and the game will be blown by Stuart Berry.

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Stuart Dickinson

Stuart Dickinson

Rugby must enhance its laws governing aerial collisions, former elite referee Stuart Dickinson has argued.

Incidents such as that involving Scotland stand-off Finn Russell, who incurred a 2-week suspension for impeding Wales’ Dan Biggar in the air, have drawn intense scrutiny and debate.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 12 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

There are once again 7 matches on the weekend, and only 1 team will on a BYE weekend, the Reds.

The Weekend sees 2 matches on Friday 1 May and 5 matches on Saturday 2 May.

On Friday referee Angus Gardner kicks off the action in the game between the Highlanders vs Cell C Sharks in Dunedin, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT), followed by the Brumbies vs Waratahs clash in Canberra at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT) which will be controlled by Glen Jackson.

On Saturday the action starts early, at 07:30 SA Time (17:30 NZ Time, 15:30 AEST, 13:30 AWST, 05:30 GMT), with Ben O’Keeffe at the helm in the game between the Blues vs Western force in Auckland. This is followed by another match in New Zealand, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT) with the Hurricanes hosting the Crusaders in Wellington, with Mike Fraser in charge of the whistle.

In Australia at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT), referee Andrew Lees will officiate in the game between the Melbourne Rebels vs Chiefs, in Melbourne.

2 Mouthwatering derbies follow on South African soil, with the Toyota Cheetahs hosting the DHL Stormers in Bloemfontein at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT), where Craig Joubert will be in charge of procedings, followed by the final Round 12 game in Protoria where the Vodacom Bulls host their trans-jukskei rivals, the Emirates Lions at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT) with Marius van der Westhuizen will wield the whistle.

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James Broadhurst

James Broadhurst

James Broadhurst of the Hurricanes has been issued with a Citing Commissioner Warning for contravening Law 10.4 (g) Dangerous charging, during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

The incident occurred in the 50th minute of the match between the Reds and Hurricanes played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 26 April 2015.

A Citing Commissioner Warning may be issued by the SANZAR Citing Commissioner for foul play incidents that are very close to, but in his opinion do not meet the red card threshold for citings.

Upon further review of the match footage the Citing Commissioner deemed a Citing Commissioner Warning was appropriate.

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WhistleSANZAR has names the Match Officials for Round 11 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.

The Cell C Sharks have a BYE weekend.

On Friday referee Angus Gardner starts off the action at 09:35 SA Time in the game between the Chiefs and Western Force in Hamilton. Also on Friday, in a 15 minutes delayed start due to Anzac Centenary Commemorative celebrations, the Brumbies host the Highlanders in Canberra at 11:55 SA Time, where Matt O’Brian will be in charge of matters.

On Saturday the Crusaders host the Blues at 09:35 SA Time in Christchurch and Chris Pollock will have the whistle. Thereafter, also 15 minutes delayed due to Anzac Day celebrations it is the turn of Rohan Hoffmann in the game between the Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels, at 11:55 SA Time, in Sydney.

Later in the day and in South Africa the Emirates Lions host the Toyota Cheetahs at 17:05 SA Time in Johannesburg, where Jaco van Heerden will preside. In a massive derby in Cape Town at 19:10 SA Time, Jaco Peyper will be in charge in the game between the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls.

On Sunday at 08:05 SA Time, Nick Briant takes charge of the final game of the Round, between the Reds and Hurricanes in Brisbane.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 10 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

There will be 7 games on the weekend and the Emirates Lions is the only side to sit out on a BYE weekend.

There will be only 1 game on Friday 17 April but a full 6 games on Saturday 18 April.

The weekend action is kicked off by Nick Briant is the Friday game between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch at 09:35 SA Time.

On Saturday at 06:30 SA Time Glen Jackson will be in charge of the game in Wellington between the unbeaten Hurricanes and the Waratahs, followed at 09:35 SA Time by Chris Pollock who will officiate the game between the Highlanders and Blues in Dunedin.

From there we move over to Australia where Andrew Gardiner is in charge of the whistle between the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in Canberra at 11:40 SA Time, followed by the game between the Western Force and DHL stormers in perth at 13:45 SA Time, where Mike Fraser will preside.

2 Games are played in South Africa on Saturday, the 1st of which will be the derby between the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at 17:05 SA Time in Durban, where Jaco Peyper will be in charge. In the last match of the Round, at 19:10 SA Time, the Toyota Cheetahs host the Reds and the match will be handled by Jaco van Heerden in Bloemfontein.

Hopefully dicipline amongst players and match officials improves this weekend and we do not have to witness a dearth of Cards, citings and suspensions!

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Oregan Hoskins

Oregan Hoskins

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins has spoken out strongly against the inconsistency of recent rulings at disciplinary tribunals.

Hoskins is incensed by what he believes to be the unfair handling of cases involving South African players – compared with their New Zealand and Australian counterparts.

He referred to the recent harsh bans handed to Sharks players Bismarck du Plessis (4 weeks), Frans Steyn (5 weeks) and Jean Deysel (7 weeks) – while similar offences by Kiwi and Aussie players received more lenient treatment.

“I didn’t intend to go to the media on this,” Hoskins said.

“But frankly, I’ve just had enough.

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Andre WatsonSouth African referees boss Andre Watson is in hot water after several officials voiced complaints against him.

According to reports, a list of grievances was signed by 24 officials. This led to Watson attending a disciplinary hearing.

Some of the grievances are believed to be: verbal abuse, victimisation, Watson’s abrasive management style and financial impropriety.

The newspaper says it was Watson’s fallout with senior referee Rasta Rasivhenge that galvanised the disenchanted. Watson allegedly told Rasivhenge last year: “I’ll f**k you up, I’ll destroy you.”

Rasivhenge has since left South Africa to pursue a refereeing career in Australia.

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Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

SANZAR confirmed that it received a formal complaint in regard to the alleged conduct of Waratahs head coach, Michael Cheika, following the Waratahs vs Blues match played at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 28 March.

After undertaking a thorough investigation, including receiving statements from all parties involved, it was determined that Mr Cheika had approached the match referee, Jaco Peyper, in front of the other match officials to seek clarification on a scrum interpretation during the halftime break of the Waratahs vs Blues match.

In a short and polite exchange that took place in the referee’s change room, Mr Peyper responded to Mr Cheika’s request for clarification. No other issues were discussed. Both Mr Cheika and Mr Peyper have subsequently acknowledged this exchange should not have taken place and apologised.

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WhistleWorld Rugby has announced the 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015 as well as the 7 Assistant Referees and 4 Television Match Officials who will also officiate in matches at the game’s showcase tournament, which starts on 18 September 2015.

France will provide 3 referees in the form of Jérôme Garcès, Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere. New Zealand, South Africa, England and Ireland will provide 2 each with 1 from the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Rugby World Cup runs from 18 September to 31 October 2015.

There will be 48 matches in the tournament.

The selection was made after a comprehensive review of refereeing performances by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee.

Chairman of the selection panel John Jeffrey said: “I want to congratulate all 12 Referees, the 7 AR’s and 4 TMO’s, who through very hard work and determination, have made it onto the panel for this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The individual match appointments will be announced in due course.


The full list of Referees with their union and number of tests in brackets is:

  • Wayne Barnes (RFU, 57)
  • George Clancy (IRFU, 38)
  • JP Doyle (RFU, 12)
  • Jérôme Garcès (FFR, 22)
  • Pascal Gauzere (FFR, 17)
  • Glen Jackson (NZR, 10)
  • Craig Joubert (SARU, 55)
  • John Lacey (IRFU, 13)
  • Nigel Owens (WRU, 60)
  • Jaco Peyper (SARU, 20)
  • Romain Poite (FFR, 39)
  • Chris Pollock (NZR, 18)

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 9 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The Chiefs, Hurricanes & Melbourne Rebels each have a BYE weekend this weekend.

There will only be 6 Super Rugby games on the weekend, 1 game on Friday and 5 games on Saturday.

Andrew Lees kicks of the weekend’s action when he blows the game between the Blues and Brumbies in Auckland on Friday. Due to Daylight Savings time changes, the game is at 09:35 SA Time (not 08:35 as in the first number of Rounds).

On Saturday morning at 09:35 SA Time it is the Crusaders vs Highlanders in Christchurch, where Glen Jackson will be in charge. Then it is the turn of the Waratahs vs DHL Stormers at 11:40 SA Time, where Mike Fraser will blow the whistle.

At 13:45 SA Time it will be the Western Force vs Toyota Cheetahs in Perth, where Rohan Hoffmann will be in charge of proceedings.

The South African based games for the weekend are the games between the Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time, controlled by Stuart Berry, as well as the Vodacom Bulls vs Reds game in Pretoria at 19:10 SA Time, where Jaco Peyper will be in charge.

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Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

Cell C Sharks flank Jean Deysel has been cited after receiving a Red Card against the Crusaders on Saturday, as the Sharks prepare to again tussle with SANZAR.

Deysel is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, in an incident that occurred in the 42nd minute of the match between the Sharks and Crusaders at Kings Park in Durban.

The Crusaders ran out comfortable 52 / 10 winners.

The case is to be considered in the first instance by SANZAR judicial officer Nicholas Davidson QC.

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WhistleWith 7 Rounds of this years Super Rugby competition completed and much discussion in the various media regarding disciplinary hearings, we thought it would be interesting to look at the players’ records so far in conceding penalties.

The scrums have become an absolute lottery and so it is no surprise that front rowers will be giving away many penalties while loose forwards can also tend to ‘live life on the edge’. However, what is surprising, according to the stats, is that as many as 6 props names appear in the Top 10 list of serial transgressors thus far this season.

2 Players who have been discussed quite a lot lately, Bismarck du Plessis and Liam Messam also appear on the list, which is disappointing considering they are the captains of their teams. Perhaps it is no surprise then that the match between the Sharks and Chiefs turned out to be such a nasty affair. Interestingly though a 3rd player who has been discussed over and over again, Francois Steyn, is not in this Top 10.

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