Promising young referee Rasta Rasivhenge has re-signed with SARU until 2019 after returning from his stint in Australia.
Rasivhenge left South Africa after a major fall-out with then referees boss Andre Watson, who has since had his contract terminated.
Three of South Africa’s leading referees have renewed their contracts with the South African Rugby Union for a further four years, the organisation announced on Thursday.
Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper, who will officiate at the Rugby World Cup in September and October, have signed contract extensions for a further four years, while Rasivhenge recently returned to South Africa from his sabbatical in Australia and has also signed on until 2019.
Plans to extend the contracts of a number of other leading referees are currently being examined.
SARU CEO Jurie Roux was delighted to secure the services of the three match officials for the next few years and said: “The Referees Department has been working hard to deliver world-class referees and these efforts are certainly paying off. We are delighted that these referees have extended their contracts with us and we look forward to seeing them continue making strides in the international arena.
“Craig and Jaco are experienced Test referees and they are certainly amongst the best in the business at the moment, while Rasta has established himself as one of the leading referees on the Sevens World Series circuit, and he has a bright future ahead of him. The next step for Rasta will be to make the transition to the 15-man game, where he has already has first-class local and international experience under the belt.
“Rasta enjoyed his sabbatical in Australia where he continued to perform on the World Series circuit, and we are glad to welcome him back to South Africa,” said Roux.
The SARU CEO added that SARU’s pathway for referees is designed to continue delivering world class match officials.
“SARU has been able to stay at the forefront of producing outstanding match officials consistently through the hard work and dedication by a large number of people involved. Our four match officials who will do duty at the Rugby World Cup in England and Wales serves as evidence that our systems are producing world-class match officials in the areas of referees, assistant referees and TMO’s,” explained Roux.
Two of the referees, Peyper and Rasivhenge will be in action this coming weekend when South Africa’s oldest provincial rugby competition, the Currie Cup, gets underway.
Peyper will officiate the opening Premier Division fixture in Kimberley where Griquas will take on defending champions Western Province. Rasivhenge, meanwhile, has been appointed as one of the assistant referees in the Bloemfontein clash between the Free State Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls.