Jonathan Kaplan (Gallo Images)
- Former SA referee Jonathan Kaplan will lead the appointment and development of match officials for the 2021 Major League Rugby season.
- New Zealander Chris Pollock will assist Kaplan in a technical advisor role.
- The MLR is entering its fourth season and represents the highest level of rugby in North America.
Former South Africa Test referee Jonathan Kaplan will lead the appointment and development of match officials for the 2021 Major League Rugby (MLR) season.
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Organisers also confirmed that New Zealander Chris Pollock will assist Kaplan in a technical advisor role.
Between them, Kaplan and Pollock have refereed at six Rugby World Cups and 96 international matches, including five British & Irish Lions Tours.
“We are pleased to welcome Jonathan Kaplan and Chris Pollock to Major League Rugby,” commissioner George Killebrew told the MLR’s official website. “Their calibre speaks for itself and their experience at the highest level will no doubt be beneficial for our growing pool of officials.”
The duo will focus on developing existing talent in North America and supplementing this pool with referees from overseas.
“We are both very excited to be able to contribute to the refereeing landscape in MLR,” said Kaplan.
“We’re hoping to use our experience and knowledge of the game at the elite level to identify and develop match officials with the express aim of improving the quality of the game in MLR and in North America.”
Killebrew added: “We recognise the importance of the man in the middle in facilitating an action packed and easy to understand game for fans to fall in love with. We look forward to using Jonathan and Chris’ expertise to help lead this.”
The MLR is entering its fourth season and represents the highest level of rugby in North America.
The event will evolve from seven teams in 2018 to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada.
– Compiled by Sport24 staff