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New Zealand referee poised to reach unique milestone

Nz_media14New Zealand referee poised to reach unique milestone

eight_col_glenNew Zealand referee Glen Jackson is set to make the history books this weekend, becoming the first New Zealander to both play and referee 100 first-class games of rugby.

Jackson will reach the significant milestone this coming Sunday 16 August when he takes charge of the Argentina v South Africa match in Buenos Aires at 7.40am (NZ time).

New Zealand Rugby General Manager – Rugby Neil Sorensen said this was a fantastic achievement for the former first-five eighth who joined the New Zealand professional referees team in 2010.

“An achievement such as this is noteworthy, especially for someone who has only spent five years as a referee.

“It’s a credit to Jacko who’s brought the dedication, skill and acumen which he displayed as a player into his new profession,” he said.

However, for the man who will soon take his place amongst fellow referees at Rugby World Cup 2015, the speed at which he has moved through the grades has been a surprise.

“It’s been a hell of a lot of hard work but at times pretty rewarding as well,” said Jackson.

“I never expected to start refereeing four or five years ago and go to a World Cup, so I’m pretty stoked to be doing that.”

Milestones are not uncommon for Jackson, whose playing career included appearances for the Māori All Blacks, Chiefs, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Saracens.

He became the only player to have scored all four ways (try, conversion, penalty goal and a dropped goal) in a Ranfurly Shield challenge and then went on to become the only player in New Zealand to achieve that three times.

But as he readily admits, refereeing poses many different challenges to working on how to out-fox your opponents.

“In rugby you could prepare yourself for an opposition and what to do to try and get a win.

“As a referee you have to do exactly what is in front of you. You can prepare all you like, but it’s what is served up in front of you [that you have to deal with]. That, and being able to think quickly on your feet.

“That has been the biggest change in terms of how you prepare during the week and what preparation you can actually do. It’s about being ready for everything I suppose,” he said

With the World Cup looming as his next career challenge, he will be sticking to the formula that has quickly propelled him to the highest levels of the game.

“You could blow your whistle any time you want. Every ruck there is something going on, it’s more about understanding what the game needs and when it is important to step up.

“You’ve just got to realise that you’re never going to be 100 percent right in any game. It’s just about understanding the times that you are wrong that you’ve got to go through it, and it’s a massive talking point. You’ve got to understand that. That’s the big art of refereeing.”


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