Former Springbok Sevens and DHL Stormers wing Egon Seconds is set to become the first South African to transition from playing to refereeing in the demanding Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
The 36-year-old Seconds is one of six South Africans on a 19-man referee panel selected to officiate in the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby season, SANZAAR announced on Monday.
Seconds is one of four former Vodacom Super Rugby players on the referee team, which team comprises seven New Zealanders, six South Africans, four Australians and one representative each from Japan and Argentina. The others are Glen Jackson, Nic Berry and Jamie Nutbrown.
During his playing days, Seconds featured in eight HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments for the Blitzboks between 2001 and 2005. He was a member of the South African team that won a bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
Overall, the panel contains a mix of seasoned professionals, several referees who now have one to two years of Super Rugby behind them and one rookie in Seconds.“The team is a nice blend of Test and Super Rugby experience and emerging talent and is very settled as we head into another season,” said SANZAAR Game Manager, Lyndon Bray.
“The experience in the team comes from Jaco Peyper and Glen Jackson, who have refereed over 50 Vodacom Super Rugby matches each, while we also have a group around the 30 mark including Angus Gardner, Nick Briant and Mike Fraser.
“All of the referees also recently attended a Vodacom Super Rugby referee camp in Sydney and are well prepared for kick-off later this month.”
Jackson, Gardner, Peyper and Ben O’Keeffe are also refereeing matches in this year’s Six Nations in Europe that kicked-off on Saturday.
Apart from Seconds and Peyper, the other South Africans on the referee panel are Quinton Immelman, Rasta Rasivhenge, Marius van der Westhuizen and Jaco van Heerden.
Brief profile of Egon Seconds:
· 2001-2005: Springbok Sevens (eight HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments)
· 2002: Bronze medal winner with Team SA Sevens in Manchester
· 2002-2008: Represented DHL Western Province and the DHL Stormers
· 2009-2010: Represented Griquas
· 2013: Selected onto the WP Rugby Referee Panel
· 2015: Member of the SA Rugby Contender Referee Squad
· 2016: Member of the SA Rugby National Panel
· 2017: Member of the SA Rugby Premier Panel and Vodacom Super Rugby Referee team
The 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby Referee Team (in alphabetical order):
Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Nic Berry (Australia)
Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Angus Gardner (Australia)
Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Will Houston (Australia)
Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Paul Williams (New Zealand)