05 Dec 2016
Former Springbok Sevens and Stormers speedster turned referee Egon Seconds has been promoted to the Premier Panel along with six of South Africa's foremost match officials.
It's the first time Seconds, who only started refereeing two years ago, has been grouped with the top group of referees, which includes Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper and Rasta Rasivhenge.
In a change to the structure of the panels, SA Rugby's Refereeing Department has decided to split the old Elite Panel into two – the Premier and National A Panels.
According to Banks Yantolo, the changes were made to streamline the process of appointing and ensuring the best available match officials are available for the correct matches.
"We're constantly working towards improving our systems to ensure not only that we have the best match officials on the field, but also to sustain our position as one of the best refereeing countries in the world.
"Our established Test referees have done us proud in recent years and it's great to see new faces, such as Egon and Rasta, making the step up. They are two of our best up-and-coming referees and it's good to know we have a number of superb young match officials who should be available for many years to come.
"Earlier this year, three of our referees, Rasta, Cwengile Jadezweni and Jaco van Heerden made their Test debuts.
"To see the progress made by Rasta, Cwengile, Jaco and Egon's is not only heart-warming, but it shows that we're doing something right as an organisation. There are many other examples and we're excited to see what the future holds for our match officials," said Yantolo.
SA Rugby Referee Panels for 2017:
Premier Panel: Quinton Immelman, Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper, Rasta Rasivhenge, Egon Seconds, Marius van der Westhuizen, Jaco van Heerden.
National A Panel: Stuart Berry, Rodney Boneparte, AJ Jacobs, Cwengile Jadezweni, Pro Legoete.
National B Panel: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Ben Crouse, Stephan Geldenhuys, Jaco Kotze, Pieter Maritz, Ruhan Meiring, Paul Mente, Mpho Matsaung, Vusi Msibi, Sindile Ngcese, Francois Pretorius, Jaco Pretorius, Oregopotse Rametsi, Archie Sehlako, Ricus van der Hoven, Lourens van der Merwe.
Women's Panel: Siyanda Ketse, Maria Mabote, Le-Ann MacClune, Lusanda Mtiya, Ashleigh Murray, Bulela Qwane.
Sevens Panel: Christopher Allison, Aimee Barrett-Theron, Johre Botha, Griffin Colby, Ben Crouse, Morne Ferreira, Jaco Kotze, Vusi Msibi, Rasta Rasivhenge.
TMO Panel: Christie du Preez, Johan Greeff, Marius Jonker, Joey Klaaste-Salmals, Shaun Veldsman, Willie Vos, JJ Wagner.
Selectors: Banks Yantolo, Eugene Daniels, Dennis Immelman, Mark Lawrence, Chean Roux, Balie Swart, Deon van Blommenstein.
National Performance Reviewers: Jacques Hugo, Dennis Immelman, Thuso Mngqibisa, Pierre Oelofse, Willie Roos.