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Kaplan to referee Currie Cup Final

The referee's dream

Jonathan Kaplan, one of the world's top referees, has been appointed to referee the 2005 Currie Cup final. It will be his second.

Asked about it, he said: "It is something I had hoped for. I suppose it is every South African boy's dream to be on the field in a Currie Cup final. If you can't play, then this is the next best thing."

Dow the years there have been 22 referees who have refereed Currie Cup finals, eight of them more than one. André Watson refereed 27 Tests and seven finals. Tappe Henning has refereed 20 Tests, one final. Kaplan has refereed 27 tests. This is his second final.

It is no wonder that he says: "Refereeing a Currie Cup final has as much appeal as refereeing a Test match.

"It is a match of great importance to the two protagonists. After all it's what the provincial teams work towards. Even the Springboks in the teams get a serious thrill from playing in a Currie Cup final."

The Springboks played in 13 Tests last year. There was only one Currie Cup final. Of the 41 Springboks who played in those Tests, 11 played in the Currie Cup final.

Adding to the occasion Kaplan said: "It is the end of an era in a sense, for two great players Anton Leonard and Naka Drotské will be playing their last matches. They have been great servants of the game in South Africa over a long period. Neither of them will want to go out losing a final.

"For some players the Currie Cup final will be the pinnacle of their careers."

Jonathan Isaac Kaplan was born in Durban on 7 November 1966. He started refereeing when a schoolboy at King David's in Linksfield, Johannesburg. He was then 17 and too young to have a driving license which meant that his mother drove him everywhere.

he refereed his first provincial match in 1993, his first Test in 1996. He became one of the first referees in South Africa to be a full time employee of SARFU and has refereed many high-profile matches, most recently the third Test between the All Blacks and the Lions.


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