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Ayoub retires from active refereeing


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George Ayoub, one of Australia’s’s top and most popular referees, has decided to hang up the whistle at the end of this year.

Ayoub started refereeing in 1990, when he was a schoolmaster – a familiar route for many referees who get a taste for refereeing when coaching at schools. Ayoub was then at his old school, the Christian Brothers’ St Patrick’s College at Strathfield, Sydney.

He reached Australia’s national panel in 1996 and refereed his first Test in 2002 and went on to referee three Tests, 17 Super rugby matches and 180 first grade games. His last match will be Australian Schools vs New Zealand Schools on 10 October.

On the decision to retire, Ayoub said: “After 11 seasons involved at the national and international level I plan to move onto other challenges,.

“It is time to call it a day at the senior level and allow the next generation of referees to take over.

“Some of the highlights for me have been my first test match, Japan vs Tonga, being involved in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, numerous Sevens finals around the world, two First Grade Grand Finals and visiting over 30 countries to referee”

Peter Marshall, the former Test referee who manages Australia’s referees, said: “George has been a valuable member of the Australian Rugby Union’s National Referee Squad for over a decade and his experience and teamwork will be missed when he retires from international rugby.

“In saying that I am sure George will remain part of the ARU Referee set up in some way so that he can pass on his knowledge to the younger referees in Australia.”

Told of the news Jonathan Kaplan, South Africa’s top referee, said: “I’d like to congratulate George on a great career. He obviously worked hard on his refereeing and made a great contribution to refereeing.

“Go well, Habibi.”

George Joseph Ayoub was born in Sydney, 23 October 1963.


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