SANZAR have named nine referees for the 2009 S14 Merit Panel with a back-up panel set to help out when needed.
As expected South African referees have been awarded for their stellar performances throughout the season and fill the majority of the spots.
New Zealand referee of the year Bryce Lawrence is joined by Steve Walsh as the only two Kiwi refs on the panel with Australia’s three men on the panel being led by the experienced Stuart Dickinson.
The implementation of the merit panel by SANZAR earlier this year means referees will no longer be prevented from refereeing teams from their own country against teams from the other nations. The use of the panel is to ensure that the best teams would be refereed by the best officials.
Changes may be made to the Panel during the season after review of performance assessments by the referees’ selectors. In the 2008 S14, nineteen referees were used, that number should be significantly less this season.
Merit panel: (By Nationality)
Stuart Dickinson (Aus),
Matt Goddard (Aus),
James Leckie (Aus),
Bryce Lawrence (NZ),
Steve Walsh (NZ),
Marius Jonker (SA),
Craig Joubert (SA),
Jonathan Kaplan (SA),
Mark Lawrence (SA),
The panel will control at least 75% of the tournament’s matches while the two back-up panels of seven referees will be called upon to officiate when injury, Six Nations duties or unavailability make Merit Panel officials unavailable.
7 of the 11 RBS 6 Nations matches will be refereed by referees from this merit panel.
Rnd 1, 7/8 Feb:
England vs Italy – Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Ireland vs France – Nigel Owens (Wales)
Scotland vs Wales – Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Rnd 2, 14/15 Feb:
France vs Scotland – George Clancy (Ireland)
Wales vs England – Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Italy vs Ireland – Chris White (England)
Rnd 3, 27/28 Feb:
France vs Wales – Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Scotland vs Italy – Nigel Owens (Wales)
Ireland vs England – Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Rnd 4, 14/15 Mar:
Italy vs Wales – Alan Lewis (Ireland)
Scotland vs Ireland – Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
England vs France – Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Rnd 5, 21 Mar:
Italy vs France – Alain Rolland (Ireland)
England vs Scotland – Joel Jutge (France)
Wales vs Ireland – Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Shadow Panel (Alphabetical): Paul Marks (Australia), Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Ian Smith (Australia).
Reserve Bench (Alphabetical): Phillip Bosch (South Africa), Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Nathan Pearce (Australia).Tweet