Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Respected South African referee Craig Joubert has retired from officiating 15s matches to take up a post as a talent-development coach for the game’s governing body‚ World Rugby.

Joubert (39) took charge of 69 Test matches‚ including the 2011 World Cup final between the All Blacks and France in Auckland‚ and also five Currie Cup and Super Rugby finals.

He applied for the new post and got it after two interviews. Joubert starts in his new role in January.

"This was not a decision I took lightly, given the obvious lure of possibly refereeing the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand next year as well as the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019‚" said Joubert.

"However‚ the opportunity to make a difference in other peoples’ careers and lives is something which I’m excited about.

"It really is a dream job.

"Over the past few years I have taken Rasta Rasivhenge under my wing and have mentored and coached him and it has been enormously rewarding to see him grow as a person and as a referee.

"This position gives me the opportunity to play a more formal role in sharing my experiences and developing referees and to have a positive influence on the lives and careers of other young referees.

"I am also thrilled that I will continue to referee on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as we build our team of referees towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"I love the Sevens environment and being a part of this very special team."

Reporting to the sevens and 15s high performance referees managers Paddy O’Brien and Alain Rolland respectively‚ Joubert will be taking up this important new role to help identify and develop the next crop of top men’s and women’s referees in both sevens and 15s.

This full-time position will be a crucial link between individual unions’ own referee development and World Rugby.

In sevens, Joubert will join High Performance Sevens referee manager Paddy O’Brien’s team to assist with the identification areas of improvement for individual referees.

He will also provide specialised and individual coaching to the referees both during the series tournaments and in the weeks between them‚ providing follow-up coaching with the individuals and union coaches in the weeks between tournaments.

He will also remain active as a sevens referee at that level.

TMG Digital

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