A Stratford rugby referee has gone from a local field to the Rugby World Cup.

Cameron Stone is currently in Japan working as a reserve assistant referee at the World Cup.

Cameron says before he used to play rugby for Stratford until about 10 years ago.

"I had quite a few head knocks and in 2009 I had a bad one. I coached the Inglewood High School rugby team for two years. A friend said to me 'why don't you pick up the whistle?'.


"I went to a referee meeting and I have never looked back."

Cameron says he was soon putting his skills as a referee to the test.

"I went to a meeting on Tuesday and on the Saturday I was refereeing a Stratford High School rugby game."

Cameron has refereed many games over the years, including the local premier competition, Mitre 10 Cup and Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. He has also been an assistant referee internationally for test matches in Australia, Japan, Samoa and Fiji.

He said the selection process for Japan was in three tiers.

"There were 12 referees selected, eight assistant referees selected and then the reserve assistant referee.

"If one of the referees or assistant referees gets injured on the field, I go to the sideline and take the place of the assistant referee. The assistant referee would then become the referee."

Cameron says World Rugby had contacted him through the test matches he had been involved in.


It was an 'unreal feeling' to have been picked as a reserve assistant referee for the World Cup.

"It would be a dream come true if I did manage to get 10-15 minutes. Just to have the opportunity is awesome. I'm glad I put in the effort and got this amazing opportunity."

Cameron says he has always loved sports.

"When I was growing up my main sport was cricket but I have always played rugby. I've always been passionate."

Cameron says he thinks this year will be a very interesting World Cup.

"It's the closest Rugby World Cup we've had for a few years. I think the All Blacks will definitely make it to the final."