Six NZ Refs in action up north

Dave Lintott Images

Onside Online     11 Nov 2016     Dave Lintott Images

Nick Briant, Mike Fraser, Glen Jackson, Rebecca Mahoney, Ben O'Keeffe and Paul Williams (pictured) will be part of elite groups of match officials from around the world ensuring a high standard of rugby as Test matches resume in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Mahoney and Williams will be making their international debuts in the middle, following rapid rises through the refereeing ranks.

When Mahoney takes the field in Hong Kong in December, she will be just the fifth New Zealander to both play in and officiate a Test match, joining an elite group comprising George Nicholson, Eric Tindill, Frank McMullen and Nicky Inwood.

With so many New Zealanders in action, High Performance Referee Manager Rod Hill is delighted at the recognition for NZR's talent identification and development programmes.

"Firstly, I'd like to congratulate the six refs on their appointments in the coming weeks. It takes a lot of work to get to this level and it's great to see the effort that these six have put in has been recognised by World Rugby. I'd also like to congratulate their local Referee Associations and the referee coaches who have been working hard with them.

"Paul and Rebecca have a lot of potential and we're pleased to see them getting opportunities, alongside our more experienced guys. This is a testament to the work being done around New Zealand to better identify and support our top referees and signals to those coming through the ranks that if they work hard, they will be rewarded," Hill said.

Hill's focus will be split on Saturday 12 November, with four New Zealand officials in action that afternoon: Mike Fraser in Cardiff; New Zealand's most-experienced referee Glen Jackson in London; Ben O'Keeffe in Edinburgh and Williams handling his first Test in Bucharest.

New Zealand Referees in action in the Northern Hemisphere

Nick Briant
R, Tonga v USA, 19 November at Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian

Mike Fraser
AR1, Wales v Argentina, 12 November at Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Glen Jackson
AR1, England v South Africa, 12 November at Twickenham, London
R, France v Australia, 19 November, Stade de France, Paris

Rebecca Mahoney
R, Japan v Hong Kong, 17 December 2016 in Hong Kong

Ben O'Keeffe
AR1, Scotland v Australia, 12 November at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
R, Scotland v Argentina, 19 November at Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Paul Williams
R, Romania v USA, 12 November at Arcul de Triomph, Bucharest
AR1, England v Fiji, 19 November at Twickenham, London