South Africa have four representatives on Sanzar’s inaugural nine-referee merit panel to take charge of next year’s Super 14 campaign.
The elite panel includes South Africa’s four top officials – Marius Jonker, Craig Joubert, Jonathan Kaplan and Mark Lawrence.
Sanzar took the ground-breaking step of creating an elite referees panel founded on merit ahead of nationality back in November.
This means that SA refs will now be able to take charge of games involving their fellow countrymen against the Australasian sides. The decision was made to ensure the best games would be officiated by the best referees.
Changes to the panel may be made during the season depending on the outcome of regular assessments by the selectors.
Merit panel (Alphabetical order) – Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Matt Goddard (Australia), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Mark Lawrence (South Africa), James Leckie (Australia), Steve Walsh (New Zealand).
Shadow Panel (Alphabetical) – Paul Marks (Australia), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Ian Smith (Australia).
Reserve Bench (Alphabetical) – Phillip Bosch (South Africa), Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Nathan Pearce (Australia).