South African Referee Craig Joubert will become the third referee in history to officiate 100 Super Rugby matches this weekend.
The South African will reach this milestone when he takes charge of the clash between the two South Africa Conference leaders the Bulls and Lions at Loftus Versfeld.
The other referees to achieve this remarkable milestone are Steve Walsh (111 matches) and South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan (107).
This achievement will add another highlight to Joubert’s illustrious career, which includes officiating the 2011 Rugby World Cup final in New Zealand, as well as matches at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. He is also on the 12-member panel to officiate at the Olympic Games sevens competition in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Commenting on the achievement SANZAAR Game Manager, Lyndon Bray, said, “Ever since he entered the refereeing ranks back in the early 2000s as a young man he has shown incredible passion and ambition. He was eager to learn from his peers who had more experience than him and explore new initiatives as the game evolved, and he developed into an incredibly professional athlete and referee.”
“Craig has already climbed the mountain in refereeing terms having been rewarded with a Rugby World Cup final. Throughout his career he has never stopped improving, and when challenged with adversity, as often happens in life, he has simply climbed straight back up that mountain.”
“The appointment to his 100th Super Rugby match is testament to that,” added Bray.
Joubert said it was fitting that he could celebrate this wonderful occasion by taking charge of a local derby.
“I’m not driven by milestones and 100 is just a number, but I guess this week gives me an opportunity to reflect on 12 years in Super Rugby,” said Joubert.
“I love being a part of this competition. I remember on my Super 12 debut in Sydney in 2005 – the Waratahs hosted the Chiefs – and being astounded at the pace of the game. I have since been a part of a competition that has expanded several times and into several new territories.”
“I love that different games within a competition can test you in so many different ways and that teams are able to forge their own identities and bring their own unique style of play. South African derbies have always been special to me and I’m thrilled to run out for the 100th time in Super Rugby this weekend at Loftus.”