Honiss nears record

New Zealand referee Paul Honiss will become his country’s most experienced match official when he blows the game between Australia and South Africa on Saturday.

Honiss stands on 37 Tests at the moment, which is the same amount of matches officiated by Paddy O’Brien. Refereeing the Vodacom Tri-Nations game in Brisbane will not only take him past O’Brien, but closer to the world record of 43 Tests, which is currently held by Derek Bevan from Wales.

While he may not be particularly loved by South Africans, Honiss is well respected by his peers.

“Paul is an exceptional referee and he has demonstrated that on the world stage. This achievement is a credit to his outstanding ability and drive to succeed at the top level,” New Zealand Manager for High Performance Refereeing Keith Lawrence said.

Honiss began his international refereeing career in 1997 in the Test bewteen Tahiti and the Cook Islands, and has since officiated in two World Cups.