BY BRYCE LAWRENCE
Bay of Plenty's NPC season is drawing to a close but my rugby involvement has just been extended by another month.
Semifinals and finals of the Air New Zealand NPC season are just a week away. I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing but I'll be involved in some way.
This was going to be the end of a 10 month season but a phone call from Dublin three weeks ago changed all that ... and I'm definitely not complaining!
New IRB referee manage Paddy O'Brien rang to say I'd been promoted into the IRB 'B' panel referee squad.
It's a huge thrill and means I'll be flying to Britain at the end of the month for a two-day conference with the other 22 referees from around the world that make up the top squads.
Joining me from New Zealand will be Paul Honiss, Kelvin Deaker and Lyndon Bray.
After the conference I'll be involved in three test matches.
I'll be the third match official for the test between Australia and France in Marseille on November 5.
Paul will lead an all New Zealand team - Kelvin and Lyndon on touch and me up in the video referee box.
After this test we all split. Paul and I stay in France but move to Nantes where I'll referee France v Canada with Paul on touch.
Kelvin moves to Edinburgh to referee Scotland v Argentina and Lyndon moves to Cardiff to referee Wales and Fiji.
The others will then return home and I'll stay on for an extra week to touch-judge Wales and South Africa in Cardiff.
I've never been to England, Wales or France before so it's a fantastic chance to see a bit more of the world and experience international rugby in the Northern Hemisphere.
A bonus will be catching up with some of my best mates from school who currently live in London. I'll also have a few pints with Glen Jackson - it's a fair bet he'll make me shout!
I'll be back in late November, have about 10 days at home and then head to Australia for a four-day Super 14 conference involving coaches and referees for next year's expanded competition.
This workshop is both an administration and technical one and shapes the way the tournament will be run and played.
Tomorrow I'll be running touch with fellow Bay of Plenty referee Matt Peters for the Ranfurly Shield clash in Christchurch.
Auckland, assured of a home semifinal will attack at all times and have dangerous players all across the park. Canterbury have everything to lose - the Shield and a home semifinal. It should be a classic!
BY BRYCE LAWRENCE