The South African Rugby Union has confirmed the panels for the 2014 season, with a number of changes resulting from a selection and grading meeting held last week. Retirements and the reduction of some panels has also had an impact on the final lists.
The retirement of test referee Jonathan Kaplan and the non-contracting of former Rugby World Cup referee Marius Jonker resulted in the promotion of Pro Legoete, Christie du Preez and Jaco van Heerden to the SARU Elite panel, said Andrè Watson, SARU General Manager: Referees.
“Marius Jonker was also not graded on the elite panel or contracted, but will operate as required to provide experience to support a number of youngsters,” Watson said.
“We are happy with the new lists, the group is strong and it all augers well for the medium and long term. It’s never easy to replace legends but fortunately the succession planning has worked as some new guys are putting up their hands to fill pretty big boots.
We have reduced the number of performance reviewers and TMOs for better consistency and higher quality of outcomes and decided to only name the contenders list of around 20 referees after the approximately 44 candidates officiated in the 2014 Easter School Festivals.”
The panels are:
SARU Elite (alphabetical, all SARU contracted): Stuart Berry, Christie du Preez, Jason Jaftha, Craig Joubert, Lesego (Pro) Legoete, Jaco Peyper, Rasta Rasivhenge, Marius van der Westhuizen, Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco van Heerden, Marius Jonker (ungraded).
SARU National (alphabetical): Rodney Boneparte (EP), Ben Crouse (BB), Gerrie de Bruin (BB), Daniel Fortuin (WP), Stephan Geldenhuys (BB), Quinton Immelman (WP), Cwengile Jadezweni (WP), Lusanda Jam (Border), Tiaan Jonker (Golden Lions), Jaco Kotze (FS), Sindile Mayende (Border), Eduan Nel (Golden Lions), Thala Ntshakaza (Golden Lions), Francois Pretorius (WP), Jaco Pretorius (Valke), Lihan Pretorius (Valke), Oregopotse Rametsi (Leopards), Archie Sehlako (Natal).
Women's National Panel: Marlize Jordaan (FS), Henchalla Oerson (Boland)
Assistant Match Officials SARU panel: Stefan Breytenbach (Pumas), Francois de Bruin (Griquas), Linston Manuels (Boland), Sieg van Staden (Valke), Marc van Zyl (WP), Cobus Wessels (BB).
SARU TMO panel: Johan Greeff (BB), Jonathan Kaplan (WP, tbc), Deon van Blommestein (WP), Shaun Veldsman (Boland), Willie Vos (Golden Lions - in training), Marius Jonker (Natal) – TBC
SARU Performance Reviewers (national): Mark Lawrence (Manager), Neville Heilbron (SARU), Keith Hendricks (Boland), Jacques Hugo (EP), Dennis Immelman (WP), Pierre Oelofse (Valke), Willie Roos (Valke), Deon van Blommestein (WP), Banks Yantolo (Border).
SARU Performance Reviewers (regional): Eska Claasen (SWD), Theuns Janse van Vuuren (Golden Lions), Mngqibisa Thuso (WP), Allan O’Connell (Natal), Kim Smit (Pumas), Pieter White (BB).