SANZAR has announced the appoint of referee to the semifinals and the Final of the 2010 Final. Craig Joubert will referee the Final on 29 May while Stuart Dickinson and Mark Lawrence will referee the semifinals on 21 and 22 May.
Rugby 365 reports that the appointments are based on performance in the 2010 Super 14 and takes on regard of affiliation. The principle of merit appointments came into working in 2009.
This principle enables SANZAR to make the appointments in advance thus removing an anxiety going into Round 14.
Joubert, who is 32 years of age, is the 10th referee to referee a Super rugby Final. He has been refereeing Super rugby since 1995. He has refereed 18 Test matches and 48 Super Rugby matches. This weekend he referees the match between the Cheetahs and the Lions in Bloemfontein, which means that Super 14 Final will be his 50th Super rugby match.
Dickinson has refereed more Super rugby matches than anybody else since his debut in 1996. He is also on the brink of becoming the third referee in history to have refereed 50 Tests – after Jonathan Kaplan and Chris White.
Mark Lawrence is also greatly experience, having refereed Super rugby since 1999. In 2008 he refereed the Super 14 Final between the Crusaders and the Waratahs in Christchurch, a match which the Crusaders won 20-12. Lawrence turns 45 in June.
The Final referees, by number of appointments, have been:
5 – André Watson
3 – Paddy O’Brien, Jonathan Kaplan
1 – Freek Burger, Glen Wahlstrom, Wayne Erickson, Tappe Henning, Steve Walsh, Mark Lawrence
Referees in Super Finals
1993: Freek Burger (South Africa)
1994: Glen Wahlstrom (New Zealand)
1995: Paddy O’Brien (New Zealand)
1996: Wayne Erickson (Australia)
1997: Tappe Henning (South Africa)
1998: Paddy O’Brien (New Zealand)
1999: André Watson (South Africa)
2000: André Watson (South Africa)
2001: Paddy O’Brien (New Zealand)
2002: André Watson (South Africa)
2003: André Watson (South Africa)
2004: André Watson (South Africa)
2005: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
2006: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
2007: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
2008: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
2009: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)