Paul Williams began his career in Taranaki in 2012, choosing to referee before playing Premier club matches for Southern Rugby Club in the afternoon.
Fast forward two years and Williams became a member of the New Zealand High Performance Referee squad in 2014.
Williams identifies the physical and mental challenges, travel, friendships and the opportunity to referee in front of packed stadiums as key motivations for refereeing.
“No two games are ever the same so there is always the anticipation of something different playing out each time.”
“Travel is also one of the reasons I love what I do. I remember how excited I felt boarding a plane to Buller during my first season of Heartland Rugby. Now I am privileged enough to travel the world and visit places like Cape Town, Paris and Buenos Aires.”
“Above all, my favourite part of refereeing is the friendships that are made, here at home and now all over the world.”
The 33-year-old has extensive experience in New Zealand provincial rugby and made his Super Rugby debut in 2016, refereeing a total of five games.
In June 2017 Williams made his Test match debut when he oversaw the match between Italy and Scotland in Singapore, watched on by his wife, nine-month-old son and parents.
Williams refereed a total of six Investec Super Rugby matches in the 2017 season and finished the year by refereeing a thrilling match between Ireland and Fiji in Dublin which saw the hosts win 23-20.
Outside of refereeing Williams has a keen interest in health and fitness and outdoor sports, including kayaking, trail running and fishing.
Widely regarded as an experienced and confident referee, Williams took the 2018 season as an opportunity to increase his Test match and Super Rugby experience, which included two matches at the 2018 6 Nations as an assistant referee.