SANZAAR has announced the referee appointment for the Super Rugby Final.
In line with match official selections for the tournament the selection of the match referees for the Finals Series have been merit-based and have included input from the team head coaches.
Angus Gardner has been appointed to referee the Super Rugby Final on Saturday 4 August. It is his maiden Super Rugby Final appointment and is reward for his high-quality performances throughout the season. The participating teams and the venue for the Final will be determined this weekend following the completion of the semi-finals.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) July 26, 2018
The 33-year-old Australian referee made his Super Rugby debut in 2012 when he refereed the Reds against the Rebels in Brisbane. He is now one of the most experienced referees in Super Rugby. He has refereed 60 Super Rugby matches and in 2018 he has taken charge of 13 matches.
Gardner broke through at senior Test level in 2016 and during 2017 refereed in all the major Test match windows, including appointments in the 6 Nations and The Rugby Championship (TRC). He has refereed 13 Test matches and has been appointed to referee two TRC Tests this year – Argentina versus South Africa and South Africa versus New Zealand.
There are some fears among New Zealand fans of there being an Australian referee to officiate the final if the Waratahs were to proceed past the penultimate stage of the tournament. There has not been an Australian officiating a Super Rugby final since 1996 so this is quite a landmark for the country.
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Gardner has made quite the name for himself over the past few years as a straight-talking official who will even reverse decisions that he has made if players correctly challenge them. This has led to several famous incidents where players such as TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith have done exactly this, leading to some very entertaining content online.
The other match officials for the Final – assistant referees and television match official – will be announced next week following the completion of the semi-finals.
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