South Africa’s Craig Joubert will on Saturday become only the third referee in history to officiate his 100thVodacom Super Rugby match when he takes charge of the clash between the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions at Loftus Versfeld.
Only Steve Walsh (111 matches) and South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan (107) have achieved this remarkable feat.
This milestone will contribute to a memorable year for Joubert, who is one five South African referees named on the 12-member panel to officiate at the Olympic Games in Rio in August.
It will also add another highlight to Joubert’s illustrious career, which includes officiating the 2011 Rugby World Cup final in New Zealand, as well as three Vodacom Super Rugby finals, in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
“I would like to congratulate Craig on this outstanding achievement,” said SA Rugby President Mr. Oregan Hoskins.“He has been one of the leading referees in the world for the last few years and we are proud to have him in our ranks. Craig has been a fine ambassador for South African Rugby, and we are delighted to see his career grow from strength to strength.
“He has led by example for the younger referees to follow in his footsteps, and I hope to see many of them learn from him.”
Joubert said it was fitting that he could celebrate this wonderful occasion by taking charge of a local derby.
“I’m not driven by milestones and 100 is just a number, but I guess this week gives me an opportunity to reflect on 12 years in Vodacom Super Rugby,” said Joubert.
“I love being a part of this competition. I remember on my Super 12 debut in Sydney in 2005 – the Waratahs hosted the Chiefs – and being astounded at the pace of the game. I have since been a part of a competition that has expanded several times and into several new territories.
“I love that different games within a competition can test you in so many different ways and that teams are able to forge their own identities and bring their own unique style of play. South African derbies have always been special to me and I’m thrilled to run out for the 100th time in Vodacom Super Rugby this weekend at Loftus.”