26 Oct 2015
Rasta Rasivhenge, the most itinerant of referees, is off to Paris on Tuesday.
'Have whistle, will travel' certainly applies to him. as a Sevens referee he has wandered the globe and now he is off to referee Fifteens in France's top professional competitions. His next trip is to Dubai.
Last Saturday he became at 29 the youngest referee to referee a Currie Cup Final, younger than Craig Joubert in 2010. And he did it with his usual calm, clarity and accuracy - a most athletic young referee.
Now he is off to France to referee two matches in the passionate French club competition. He is the second South African to do this in a programme organised between Didier Mene, France's referee boss, and André Watson when he was South Africa's referee boss.
The first South African referee to benefit was Jaco van Heerden of the Blue Bulls Referees' Society who refereed the Pro D2 match between Béziers and Biarritz in Béziers and the Top 14 match between Stade Français and Racing-Métro in Paris.
(The top French, professional club competitions are Top 14, which produces the French club champion each year, and Pro D2, the second division of professional rugby in France.)
This year Rasivhenge will also referee the Pro D2 match between Biarritz and Béziers, but this time in lovely Biarritz on the Atlantic seaboard, a Basque city of beaches and casinos near the Spanish border. That match is on 31 October 2015.
His second match on 7 November 2015 will be a Top 14 match between Toulouse and Grenoble in Toulouse in the heartland of French rugby, the southwest.
It is a wonderful opportunity for the young referee in the beauty of a French autumn.
It may be an idea to mention that his name is Fhatuwani. His nickname, which has been his since he was 13, is Rasta and there is no connection of any kind whatsoever between him and Rasta Dumisani, who made a mockery of the South African national anthem in France in 2009.