Henning appointed URC’s head of match officials

Tappe Henning has been appointed head of match officials for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and is eager to spearhead a “collaborative approach” between referees and coaches to encourage positive play.

The South African succeeds Greg Garner, who served as the league’s elite referee manager since 2017 and will be responsible for overseeing match official selections for URC fixtures, leading the review and analysis process alongside the five union referee managers from across the URC and identifying new refereeing talent.

Henning (60) has an extensive pedigree in the field of refereeing and rugby administration. His most recent role was with Scottish Rugby as the union’s referee commissioner having previously held a similar position at SA Rugby prior to 2013.

An accomplished international referee, Henning was in charge for 14 Test matches and named to the match officials panel for the 1999 World Cup. At the age of 34, he became the youngest referee of a Currie Cup final in 1995 and went on to whistle the 1997 Super Rugby final between the Blues and Brumbies.

Henning said he wants to create a collaborative approach between referees and coaches.

“I am extremely excited about the cross-hemisphere competition of the United Rugby Championship and the goal of bringing together north and south to create a collaborative approach which will encourage positive play.

“With so many differing styles of play in the URC it will require a big effort from myself, our match officials, the clubs and their coaches to mutually agree on our core principals so everyone knows what to expect. With a partnership based on mutual respect towards the different rugby cultures and playing styles – coaches and match officials can work towards a product that will be unique to the rugby world.”

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Dylan Jack