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Referees appointed for opening five rounds of Super 14

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New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence has been given the honour of blowing the whistle that will get the 2006 Super 14 season underway on Friday week.


Lawrence will referee the opening match of the new, expanded competition between the Blues and the Hurricanes, which kicks off at 7:35pm (NZ time) on 10 February in Auckland.


SANZAR has released the official referee appointments for the first five rounds of Super 14 Rugby, and with the tournament increasing from 69 matches to 94 matches, the top referees from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia will be busier than ever.


The first round of the Super 14 involves six local derbies, so only one referee, Australia’s Scott Young, will be required to travel overseas in the opening round.


Young will officiate in the Sharks home match against the Chiefs in Durban on 11 February while all the other matches in Round One will involve ‘home’ referees.


After that, the international travel begins.


South African referee Mark Lawrence will be in Bloemfontein, Brisbane, Perth and back in Bloemfontein in the first four weeks of the tournament.


Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Lyndon Bray will referee the Crusaders v Highlanders in Christchurch in Round 1, before doing two matches in Pretoria, and a match in Canberra then heading back to Hamilton for the Chiefs v Crusaders in Week Five.

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