Two more Tests for Kaplan

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30 Oct 2013 Selected Article image

Jonathan Kaplan will referee two more Tests this year. That will take his total of Tests to 70.

In Windhoek this month there is an important triangular tournament, involving Kenya, Zimbabwe and hosts Namibia. It is especially important as the winner will go to the 2015 World Cup in London.

There has been an African nation, apart from South Africa who do not have to qualify in the grounds of success at each World Cup, at each World Cup since 1987. Zimbabwe were there in 1987 and 1991, Cote d'Ivoir in 1995 and Namibia at the last four - 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. None of these three countries has won a match at the World Cup.

This year Kenya have high hopes of making the World Cup for the first time and have Western Province's Jerome Paarwater with them till the World Cup. Qualification for them is a distinct possibility. After all they beat Zimbabwe 29-17 in Madagascar this year. But then Zimbabwe have beaten Namibia only twice in 25 matches and Kenya once in five matches.

The tournament will be played on 8, 12 and 16 November. Kaplan will referee Namibia vs Zimbabwe on 8 November and Namibia vs Kenya on 16 November. Jackie Husselmann of Namibia will referee the match between Zimbabwe and Kenya.

There is obviously a lot riding on the tournament.

The last Test Kaplan refereed was Australia vs Wales in 2011 and on Saturday he refereed his last South African match as a professional referee - the Currie Cup Final between the Sharks and Western Province at Newlands and he refereed it splendidly