South African Rugby Union president Mr. Oregan Hoskins has congratulated leading South African referee Jonathan Kaplan for becoming world rugby’s most capped Test referee at the weekend.
Kaplan refereed his 47th Test when he took charge of the match between France and Argentina at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on Saturday, surpassing the mark he shared with Paul Honiss of New Zealand as the IRB’s most experienced referee of all time.
Kaplan made the record his own after he was a late call up to blow the whistle in place of the injured Steve Walsh.
Hoskins described Kaplan as a model professional and an outstanding rugby ambassador for his country: “Jonathan deserves all the accolades because he has done a lot to promote the image and career prospects of referees in our country and hopefully overseas as well.
“His conduct both on and off the field is always impeccable and he has always been a credit to his profession, which at best can be described as consistently demanding because of the close scrutiny of spectators and a wider television audience,” explained Hoskins.
Kaplan will be in charge of the test between Wales and New Zealand on November 22 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. His 47 tests include eight at two Rugby World Cup tournaments.
Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Full name: Jonathan Isaac Kaplan
Born: Durban, 7 November 1966
First Test: Zimbabwe vs. Namibia on 3 May 1996
Latest Test: France vs. Argentina on 8 November 2008
Tests Matches: 47
Rugby World Cup: 2003 (3 matches); 2007 (5 matches)
Occupation: Professional referee