Bay of Plenty rugby referees Glen Jackson and Nick Briant will be in action on the international stage over the next few weeks.

During the break in the Super Rugby competition there is a multitude of internationals.

The All Blacks take on Wales tonight at Eden Park in Auckland in the opening test with series' between Australia and England and South Africa and Ireland also likely to be highly competitive.

Nick Briant is off to Suva to referee the Tonga v Georgia match. Photo/Getty Images
Nick Briant is off to Suva to referee the Tonga v Georgia match. Photo/Getty Images

The World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup involving Fiji, Samoa and Tonga kicks off today when Fiji hosts Tonga and signals the start of the Oceania qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.


None of the Pacific Island teams having qualified automatically for the next Rugby World Cup so results are vital to achieving that.

As part of this expanded Tier 2 competition schedule, Georgia will tour the Pacific Islands in June and will play tests against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Jackson is one of the assistant referees at the Australia v England test in Brisbane tonight before he heads to South Africa to officiate in the South Africa v Ireland series.

Next Saturday in Johannesburg he will run the touch lines for Australia's Angus Gardner before he takes over the whistle the following week in the third test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

"I am really excited by the challenge of two greats sides from different hemispheres," Jackson said.

"South Africa is such a proud rugby nation and with a new coach taking over there will be some big expectations. Ireland have played some great rugby under Kiwi Joe Schmidt so it should be a great series to be part of."

Incidentally, Schmidt was co-coach and Jackson a star player in the Bay of Plenty Steamers team that won the Ranfurly Shield off Auckland in 2004.

Meanwhile Briant, fresh from controlling the Super 8 match Tauranga Boys' College and Rotorua Boys' High School First XVs on Thursday, heads to Suva, Fiji, to control the Georgia v Samoa test next Saturday June 18. He then heads to Apia to run touch for the Georgia v Tonga match.

"This is an exciting challenge for me between two tough and uncompromising teams. Georgia are one of the rising teams in international rugby and I'm sure they will take it to Tonga up front," Briant said.

"The Tongans are well renowned for their physical play and will give as good as they get. I'll be staying well clear of the collisions in this one."

Bay of Plenty referee manager Pat Rae is pleased with the appointments.

"It is always good for local referee morale when we watch our mates be involved in big matches on TV.

"I'd guess its a bit like what goes through the minds of Te Puke Sports supporters when Nathan Harris plays for the All Blacks."