Rugby: Ref on fast track to Twickenham

By Peter White


Just over two years ago Glen Jackson refereed his first game of rugby at Bethlehem College; now he has been appointed to take charge of two internationals.

Jackson will whistle England v Fiji at Twickenham on November 10 and Georgia v Japan in Georgia a week later.

The former Bay of Plenty, Waikato Chiefs, NZ Maori and Saracens first-five has made every post a winner since he played his last competitive game, at Twickenham for Saracens against Leicester in the 2010 Premiership Final.

"That is pretty uncanny really isn't it?" Jackson said."It is amazing really at the home of rugby, and I think everyone around the world will say it is the best rugby stadium in the world.

"To have my first test match there as well as having my last game there is remarkable. I feel very honoured that both happened at that place."

The speed of Jackson's rise to the top as a referee has shocked the 36-year-old.

"I have to pinch myself this has happened so fast. It has been hard work and will continue to be but I think timing is everything in life. I have been lucky with Bryce [Lawrence] and Keith Brown and Vinnie Munro retiring, so it has paved a path for me to learn pretty quickly.

"I hope it hasn't come too quick."

Jackson said fellow Otumoetai College old boy Lawrence was the main influence on his rapid rise up the refereeing ranks.

"He has a massive influence on me to come back into refereeing. I used to flat with him way back and saw what he was doing in the game and that was when it first started and I thought maybe there was a chance to get into refereeing after rugby.

"Without him I probably would not be a ref. I think if you ask any ref around the Bay of Plenty and throughout New Zealand that he is the first to put his hand up to help anyone.

"He has obviously been to the top of his game and he is also willing to put as much back as he possibly can. His new role working with New Zealand rugby will be a good one."


 


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