Glen Jackson has been handed the responsibility of officiating the Super Rugby Final between the Hurricanes and the Lions at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on this coming Saturday. Jackson went straight into refereeing after retiring as a professional player in 2010.
The 40-year-old New Zealander played flyhalf for Bay of Plenty, Chiefs, Saracens and New Zealand Maori. He helped Bay of Plenty win the Ranfurly Shield in 2004 and played for the Chiefs in the 2004 Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Brumbies.
He also represented the Barbarians when they took on the Wallabies in 2009.
In 2010, after earning 130 caps with Saracens, he returned to New Zealand to take up refereeing. He was fast tracked and in 2011 refereed his first Super Rugby match, between the Hurricanes and the Western Force.
In 2015 he refereed his first international match when appointed to the 6 Nations Test between Scotland and Wales, and became the first New Zealander to play and referee 100 first class matches when he refereed the Argentina versus South Africa match later that year.
He also refereed at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and to date has refereed 52 Super Rugby matches.
Commenting on the appointment, SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said, “Glen has consistently delivered through the season and this is a just reward for his efforts.
“This season has seen a number of new referees introduced into the competition under the guidance and support of our more experienced referee group in which Glen has played a big role. I am confident that he will manage the final with the composure and authority required as we look forward to these two great teams doing battle.
Assistant referees for the final will be Angus Gardner and Ben O’Keeffe, with TMO Ben Skeen.
Some questions have been asked about there being a New Zealand referee for a New Zealand home final (Hurricanes), with some thinking that despite Jackson being the best available, a neutral Australian referee would have been a wiser choice for such a crucial match.
Of the four officials in charge, three are from New Zealand, with just Gardner being Australian.
Neutral referees were done away with in Super Rugby in 2009 though, to make travel easier, cut down on costs and aim to have all appointments made on merit.
Hurricanes vs Lions, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 6 August 2016, 19:35 local