High Performance referee squad announced
allblacks.com 14 Dec 2017 Getty Images
It is the first time in ten years that five New Zealand referees have featured in international fixtures in one season and marks the highest representation of any nation in the World Rugby elite referees panel.
Glen Jackson, Ben O’Keeffe, Nick Briant, Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill, Mike Fraser and Jamie Nutbrown are all contracted for the upcoming season.
Richard Kelly and James Doleman will both continue to officiate on the HSBC Sevens World Series.
New Zealand Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Bryce Lawrence said this group of referees continues to set the highest standards.
“New Zealand has a great track record of developing referees from grassroots through to internationals and our current group of professional referees are truly world class.
“Their recent success on the international stage is a result of years of hard work and dedication and shows the pathway on offer for aspiring referees,” said Lawrence.
North Harbour’s Brendon Pickerill made his Test debut last month when he officiated the Germany v USA fixture in Germany, becoming New Zealand’s 70th international referee.
Pickerill, along with O’Keeffe, Jackson, Williams and Briant took charge of Tests in November, while Fraser and Nutbrown had assistant referee fixtures during this time. Ben Skeen and Aaron Patterson were both appointed to TMO duties for one match each.
International recognition is set to continue into 2018 with O’Keeffe and Jackson named to referee Six Nations Test matches in February and March. Paul Williams has been appointed two assistant referee fixtures in the same series, as well as Ben Skeen and Glenn Newman taking up TMO duties.
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