SANZAR had named its merit panel of 10 referees for Super Rugby in 2012 andeight reserves who will get chances to referee
there are five South African referees on the panel, four New Zealanders and an Australian who is really a New Zealander. These 10 referees will referee 80% of the Super Rugby matches.
There is also a Reserve Panel who will referee the other 20%, roughly four matches each. On the Resereve Panel there are eight referees - three each form New Zealand and Australia and two from South Africa.
Merit Panel: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Mark Lawrence (South Africa), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Steve Walsh (Australia), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand).
Reserve Panel: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Angus Gardner (Australia), Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Andrew Lees, (Australia) Ian Smith (Australia), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Jonathon White (New Zealand).
There are goings and comings. Stuart Dickinson, who has retired from refereeing, and Nathan Pearce of Australia and Lesego Legoete of South Africa are no longer on panels Those who have come onto panels are Stuart Berry, Mike Fraser, Angus Gardner, Glen Jackson and Lourens van der Merwe.
SANZAR's referees' organiser, Lyndon Bray, a New Zealander based in Sidney said of Dickinson: “Stuart had a very celebrated career in the top flight for many years and he will be sorely missed by our team."
On the panels, Bray said: “Our aim is for the best referees to be refereeing the most rugby. The Reserve Panel will operate in a similar way to a rugby team’s reserve bench.
“It is inevitable that we need reserve referees performing in the middle because, like players, referees can suffer from injuries and loss of form. In addition, it is vital that we continue to develop and grow our talent for the future, which cannot be achieved overnight.
“The five new referees will gain valuable Super Rugby experience in 2012 and will join three other referees on our Reserve panel. This will help us maintain the growth of our team, with up to five referees potentially leaving the team by the end of next year.”
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