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Chris Pollock to referee 200th first class match

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allblacks.com     01 Jul 2016     Getty Images

Pollock, a 22-Test referee who retired from international duties last year, joins the ranks of some of New Zealand’s most respected referees. Other referees to have reached the rare milestone are Bryce Lawrence (201), Steve Walsh (210), Paul Honiss (220) and Paddy O’Brien (221).

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New Zealand Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Rod Hill congratulated Pollock on the eve of achieving the milestone.

“To reach 200 first class matches for any athlete in this modern game is a special achievement. For match officials – it’s not an easy achievement over 15 years. Polly can be incredibly proud of what he has achieved in refereeing in New Zealand and on the international stage,” Hill said.

Pollock’s first class debut was in 2000 with Hawke’s Bay v Southland. His career total takes in 79 Super Rugby matches, 80 provincial national competition matches, and nine Ranfurly Shield challenges.

He was named New Zealand Rugby’s referee of the year in 2013.

Pollock’s milestone caps off a strong year for the New Zealand Rugby professional referees squad.

Former professional player turned referee Glen Jackson will notch up his 50th Investec Super Rugby match next weekend as he whistles the Crusaders v Rebels in Round 16 of the competition.

Among the newly contracted referees, eye doctor Ben O’Keefe made his Test match debut refereeing the Samoa v Georgia match in Apia this month, and Paul Williams, who has had a solid Super Rugby season with the whistle, was appointed to the World Rugby Under 20 World Championship Final between England and Ireland.

In the Sevens group, Nick Briant, Richard Kelly and Jessica Beard were appointed for the Olympic Sevens match officials team.

Meanwhile, one of the most recognised figures of rugby refereeing in New Zealand, Paul Honiss, has been appointed New Zealand Women’s Referee Squad Coach.