Three local referees will take charge of the matches involving South African franchises during the opening round of Vodacom Super Rugby.
Marius van der Westhuizen will be the man in the middle for the opening South African conference derby between the Sharks and Vodacom Bulls in Durban on Friday.
The 36-year-old will be assisted by compatriots Egon Seconds and Jaco Peyper, while the experienced Marius Jonker will be on television match official (TMO) duty. Kick-off at Kings Park is at 7:10pm.
The same on-field officials will be involved in Saturday’s match between the Stormers and Hurricanes at Newlands, with Peyper taking charge. Van der Westhuizen and Seconds will be Peyper’s assistants, with Joey Klaaste-Salmans in the TMO booth. The game kicks off at Kings Park at 3:05pm.
The final match of the round between last year’s losing finalists the Jaguares and the Lions, will have Rasta Rasivhenge wielding the whistle. The South African will be assisted by Argentinians Pablo Deluca and Martin Cordoba, with Santiago Borsani the TMO.
Meanwhile, the opening round of the 25th season of Vodacom Super Rugby will begin in Auckland, where Angus Gardner will be in charge of the New Zealand derby between the Blues and Chiefs. The second fixture of the round will have South Africa’s AJ Jacobs taking charge of the Australian derby between the Brumbies and Reds in Canberra.
New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe will officiate in the match between the Sunwolves and Rebels in Fukuoka, with fellow Kiwi referee Paul Williams on duty for the Trans-Tasman clash between reigning champions the Crusaders and Waratahs at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.