Final whistle for Joubert

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 March, 2005, 12:00am

Argentina will see the last of South African referee Craig Joubert this weekend. Joubert, pictured sending off Santiago Gomez Cora for biting in the final of the Wellington Sevens, will no longer referee sevens after the World Cup.

Joubert, who officiated in last year's Hong Kong final between Argentina and England, admits he will have mixed feelings when he ends his sevens career.

The 27-year-old Durban banker, who started refereeing on the IRB Sevens circuit in 2002, will now turn his attention to the XVs game.

Joubert, who has become one of the top officials on the circuit, has an unflappable demeanour which marks him out as a fine refereeing prospect.

'In some ways it's the end of a chapter, but in other ways there's a lot to look forward to in terms of XVs,' Joubert said. 'It means an end to the sevens career which I've really enjoyed but you need to keep moving through the chapters. One closes and the next one starts.

'Sevens was a waiting room for me. While we had an established five top referees in South Africa I wasn't going to get a look in to Super 12,' he said.

'The sevens series was a great way for me to take my refereeing from a Currie Cup level to the next step.'

With the retirement of Andre Watson and Andy Turner's move to chief executive of the Golden Lions, the wait is over for Joubert, who says he is looking forward to the challenge.

'I'm certainly the junior guy in the Super 12 but it's a new challenge and something you need to move forward.'