In November 2014, USA Rugby Referees’ management, Richard Every and Brittany Jacobs, visited South Africa to attend the SA Rugby Referees Camp in Vanderbijlpark, near Johannesburg. The camp included the top 30 referees in the country (with international referees Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper, Stuart Berry, and Lourens van der Merwe), management (Andre Watson and Mark Lawrence), TMOs, and administrators, and was run over three-and-a-half days.
“It is very important for us to ensure that we maintain a large network internationally and that we are always on the pulse of the latest trends, law applications, and interpretations,” said Every. “In addition, everyone that’s involved in the game knows that we are all forever learning, whether we are players, coaches, referees, reviewers, etc., the learning never stops, especially as the game continually evolves.”
Every presented his Balance in the Game presentation to the group, which will also be featured at the 2015 National Development Summit in Chicago Jan. 24. Richard said, “It is important to calibrate internationally and know that we are all on the same page sharing the same message.”
USA Rugby Referees have had an exchange program with South Africa since 2011. This year will see their women’s referee, Aimee Barrett, refereeing at the USA Rugby College Sevens Championships and Club Championships. At the end of February, Kurt Weaver, one of the top USA Rugby Referees, will be in South Africa refereeing Vodacom Cup matches. Also, since the start of the Shanagher Morrison Fund, USA Rugby Referees have been sending development referees annually to the SA Referee Academy at Stellenbosch University.
The relationship USA Rugby Referees has with SA Referees has benefited both countries as the U.S. assists South Africa in developing women’s referees – the very first exchange in 2011, Marlize Jordaan, refereed at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014. They are committed to help USA Rugby Referees develop toward the international stage.