Referee of Rugby WC final honoured at old school

2011-11-18 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG will always have a special place in Craig Joubert’s heart, the referee of this year’s Rugby World Cup final in New Zealand said yesterday.

Joubert visited Maritzburg College, where he matriculated in 1995, and was presented with a framed citation by the headmaster, Ron Jury, that acknowledged the achievements of the Kloof-based official.

“It is always great to come back to Pietermaritzburg and to come back to this school,” the 34-year-old father of one told The Witness.

While Joubert visits the school whenever he can to officiate first-team rugby matches, yesterday was the first time he had been back to College since the World Cup final — a day that he says will stay with him forever.

“It was always a big goal of mine to referee at a World Cup, so to be given the final was a real privilege,” Joubert said.

“More than that, it was a massive responsibility.”

Joubert flew his mother over to the final to join his wife and son, who were already in New Zealand.

“My mother had been so good to me when I was younger, driving me around to rugby matches. She was so instrumental in my involvement in rugby that when I saw that flights were available I had to fly her over,” he added.

“Having her there was very special.”

Jury paid tribute to Joubert, and revealed that he had begun his refereeing career on the Maritzburg College sport fields at the age of 14.

“I remember the first match that you reffed was a College U14F versus DHS U14E game,” Jury said to Joubert.

“We are so proud of you and what you have done.”

Joubert has been named on the Sanzar panel of referees who will be blowing next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

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