Cape Town - There are four South Africans on SANZAAR's referees panel for the 2020 Super Rugby season.
Jaco Peyper, AJ Jacobs, Marius van der Westhuizen and Rasta Rasivenghe all cracked the nod for 12-man panel announced by the southern hemisphere governing body.
The panel was reduced from 15 to 12 this year and there was no spot for South Africa's Egon Seconds, who was involved in several controversial incidents in last year's tournament.
The Super Rugby refereeing team recently completed a camp at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport where they braced for the season ahead.
"The camp has allowed the Super Rugby refereeing team to continue to evolve its game plan and match management protocols, anchored by the key deliverable, ‘how do we as referees deliver a successful Super Rugby game?’ Within this is the main objective to assist the very talented players in the tournament to play their best rugby," Super Rugby Game Manager Lyndon Bray said via a press statement.
Bray added: "The refereeing team had a very inspiring and thought-provoking presentation from the Rugby World Cup 2019 winning coach, Rassie Erasmus of the Springboks. There was also a presentation from SuperSport commentators, highlighting how the tournament is broadcast and promoted, and designed to help the referees to understand how they and the tournament are perceived within the sports world.
"The recent camp covered the way in which our refereeing teams of four (referees, assistant referees and television match officials) continue to work on getting better at making the best game decisions in the major moments of the match. This includes foul play, try scenarios, contestable scrums (with reduced resets), that teams who are strong at mauling from their lineout are able to use their maul and that we enable space for teams to attack with confidence.
"This is a very settled referee team and is a tight-knit group of 12 referees, from across South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. As in 2019, the referees will work in pods of four."
Super Rugby CEO Andy Marinos also commented: "Ensuring we continue to deliver world-class and best performance match officiating is hugely important to the integrity of Super Rugby. Super Rugby has led the way I believe in match officiating but we cannot afford to be complacent, and we are constantly adapting and innovating to ensure our match officials are the best they can be.
"This year we have reduced the referee team from 15 to 12 following intense scrutiny of performance and the objectives we want to meet, as identified by the Stellenbosch camp in South Africa recently. This smaller, tighter referee team we believe will deliver greater consistency of performance and better critical decision-making processes to ensure Super Rugby delivers fantastic rugby for the players and fans."
2020 Super Rugby referees panel (name, country, Super Rugby matches):
Federico Anselmi, Argentina - 21
Nic Berry, Australia - 31
Mike Fraser, New Zealand - 60
Angus Gardner, Australia - 72
AJ Jacobs, South Africa - 8
Ben O’Keeffe, New Zealand - 45
Jaco Peyper, South Africa - 106
Brendon Pickerill, New Zealand - 25
Rasta Rasivhenge, South Africa - 22
Marius van der Westhuizen, South Africa - 44
Paul Williams, New Zealand - 27
Damon Murphy, Australia - 6