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André Watson is a former rugby union referee from South Africa who officiated some of the world’s biggest matches. Discover his career with rugby gurus RugbyPass.

André Watson Bio

André Watson is a former rugby referee who had the honour of officiating some of the biggest matches in the history of the game. By the time his career came to a close, he’d refereed two Rugby World Cup finals, seven Currie Cup finals and five Super Rugby finals. Andre Watson was inducted into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame in 2021.

Born 24 April 1958, André Watson began playing rugby during his junior years. As a youth, he played representative rugby for Transvaal Schools XV. Then, while studying at university, he played for Stellenbosch University and the University of the Witwatersrand.

In 1987, André Watson took up refereeing for the first time. He then became a full-time referee in 1995 and had a stellar career at the highest levels of the game.

At the provincial level, André Watson regularly officiated in Super Rugby and Currie Cup matches. In total, before he retired in 2004, he refereed more than 100 Currie Cup clashes, including seven finals. He also officiated in five Super Rugby finals between 1999 and 2003.

Although he only became a full-time referee in 1995, André Watson officiated in his first international game in 1996. On the international stage, he went on to referee two Rugby World Cup finals (1999 and 2003) and plenty of test matches. Although he announced his retirement in 2004, he returned to refereeing three months later, when he officiated in a match between Andorra and Norway.

Since retiring from refereeing, André Watson has stayed connected to the game. Between 2011 and 2015, he was the Manager of Referees for the South African Rugby Union.