The 15-man referee team comprises an excellent mix of experienced international referees, several referees with one or two years’ Vodacom Super Rugby behind them and some emerging referee talent in the form of Jacobs and Australian Damon Murphy.
Jacobs joins Jaco Peyer – the most experienced referee on the list – Rasta Rasivhenge, Egon Seconds and Marius van der Westhuizen as one of five South Africans on the referee panel. There are also six referees from New Zealand, three from Australia and one from Argentina on the panel.
Following a comprehensive review of match official performances in 2018 and to ensure continued growth in the referee team performance, the team has been reduced from 17 to 15 referees.
Another outcome from the review will see all match referees, assistant referees and television match official (TMO) appointments being made by SANZAAR.
When required, due to logistical and operational requirements, SANZAAR will utilise match officials from outside the team of 15 that allows for the development of local talent.
The referees on the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby panel are:
Argentina: Federico Anselmi, 14 matches; Australia: Nic Berry (21), Angus Gardner (62), Damon Murphy (0); South Africa: AJ Jacobs (0), Jaco Peyper (95), Rasta Rasivhenge (15), Egon Seconds (10), Marius van der Westhuizen (35); New Zealand: Nick Briant (50), Mike Fraser (48), Glen Jackson (77), Ben O’Keeffe (36), Brendon Pickerill (18), Paul Williams (19).