NZ Rugby re-sign professional referees for 2018 season

Nick Briant - Full time referee - New Zealand
Seven high-performance referees have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby heading into the 2018 season. Showing the strength of the squad, five of them featured in the November Test schedule.
Glen Jackson, Ben O’Keeffe – New Zealand Referee of the Year 2017 – Nick Briant (pictured), Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill, Mike Fraser and Jamie Nutbrown are all contracted for the upcoming season. Richard Kelly and James Doleman will both continue to officiate on the HSBC Sevens World Series.
New Zealand Rugby High-Performance Referee Manager, Bryce Lawrence said this group of referees continues to set the highest standards, “New Zealand has a great track record of developing referees from grassroots through to internationals and our current group of professional referees are truly world class.
“Their recent success on the international stage is a result of years of hard work and dedication and shows the pathway on offer for aspiring referees.”
It is the first time in ten years that five New Zealand referees have featured in international fixtures in one season and marks the highest representation of any nation in the World Rugby elite referees panel.
North Harbour’s Brendon Pickerill made his Test debut last month when he officiated the Germany v USA fixture in Germany, becoming New Zealand’s 70th international referee.  Pickerill, along with O’Keeffe, Jackson, Williams and Briant took charge of Tests in November, while Fraser and Nutbrown had assistant referee fixtures during this time. Ben Skeen and Aaron Patterson were both appointed to TMO duties for one match each.
International recognition is set to continue into 2018 with O’Keeffe and Jackson named to referee Six Nations Test matches in February and March. Paul Williams has been appointed two assistant referee fixtures in the same series, as well as Ben Skeen and Glenn Newman taking up TMO duties.

The full list

Glen Jackson – Bay of Plenty
Ben O’Keeffe – Wellington
Nick Briant – Bay of Plenty
Paul Williams – Taranaki
Brendon Pickerill – North Harbour
Mike Fraser – Wellington
Jamie Nutbrown – Canterbury
Sevens World Series
Richard Kelly – Taranaki
James Doleman – Aukland

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