Why top Kiwi ref has quit
NEWS: Top New Zealand referee Glen Jackson announced Friday he was giving up the job, just months after being overlooked for a role at the World Cup.
After 25 years as both a stand-out flyhalf in New Zealand and England during his playing days and then overseeing 32 Tests, Jackson said the time was right to “move on to something different, but hopefully, still be involved with rugby.”
The 44-year-old earlier admitted it was “tough” when his name was missing from the list of referees for the World Cup last year and that he was reconsidering his future.
“My goals have changed a bit after missing out,” the five-time New Zealand referee-of-the-year said at the time.
Jackson played for the New Zealand Maori and had 60 Super Rugby games with the Chiefs, before heading to the United Kingdom – where he played 159 matches for the Saracens and won the coveted Golden Boot for the most points scored in the 2006-07 season.
His playing career ended in 2010 and he was fast-tracked to refereeing at Super Rugby level a year later, overseeing his first Test – England against Fiji at Twickenham – in 2012.
Jackson, who has been involved in some coaching with the Bay of Plenty Union, said he hopes to continue his involvement in rugby after he steps back from refereeing in March.
“I feel extremely privileged to have worked as a professional referee for New Zealand Rugby over the last 10 years,” he said.
“I would like to thank Lyndon Bray and Bryce Lawrence for everything they have done for me and their support in making this decision.
“I think New Zealand refereeing is in a positive space with great leaders and fantastic young referees who I will miss working with,” Jackson added.
New Zealand Rugby National Referee Manager Bryce Lawrence said Jackson leaves a legacy as one of New Zealand’s best.
“Glen changed the shape of refereeing in our country when he became the first top-class player to become a professional referee through the player scholarship system,” Lawrence said.
“Glen brought rugby nous to refereeing, strong relationships with players and coaches both domestically and internationally, and he added so much to our referee team culture by being a great team man.
“Glen has had a fantastic career in rugby, after 25 years at the top level it is time for his wife Fiona and children Payton and Ella to have more time together and I thank his family for their amazing support which has allowed Glen to travel internationally and referee on the biggest stages,” Lawrence added.
Jackson will travel to South Africa this weekend to attend a SANZAAR referee camp and will continue to support the New Zealand refereeing group through to the end of March.