Cwengile Jadezweni, known as JD, has become the third of South Africa’s young and upcoming refereering corps to make a 2016 Test debut when he takes charge of the match between Kenya and Hong Kong in Nairobi this weekend (10 Sept 2016).
The 2016 season has been rewarding for Jadezweni – also known as “JD” – who was named on South Africa’s Elite Panel for the first time this season and who was one of eight referees at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester, England, in June.
On Saturday, Jadezweni will follow in the footsteps of compatriots Rasta Rasivhenge and Jaco van Heerden, both of whom made their Test debuts earlier this year in matches between Uganda and Namibia, and Kenya and Uganda respectively.
Outside of Jadezweni’s busy refereeing schedule, he is also a member of the SA Rugby coding team, with his focus being specifically on the analysis of referee calls and decisions.
“This is a great achievement for JD,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“We are very proud of him and we wish him luck for his Test debut this weekend. He is an extremely dedicated and hard-working referee and he has made steady strides in his career in the last few years, so being awarded his first Test is just reward for all his hard work.
“What makes his appointment even more remarkable is that he will be making his Test debut before officiating his first Vodacom Super Rugby match, and that shows that anything is possible if one puts in the hard yards.
“JD’s appointment adds to a fantastic year for the SA Rugby Referees Department as our referees have officiated in the top competitions all over the world, including the Rio Olympic Games, the World Rugby U20 Championship, June Tests and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. This is a testament to the hard work being done behind the scenes to deliver referees of the highest standard.”
The memorable 2016 season for Jadezweni follows on a series of consistently impressive performances last season, which culminated in him taking charge of the Provincial Under-21 final between DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State in October 2015.