American Weaver to ref Zim-Tunisia clash

AMERICAN international rugby referee Kurt Weaver will take charge of Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup Division 1A match against Tunisia at Prince Edward School’s Jubilee Field on Saturday, barely a week after his first international assignment on the continent in Kenya on Sunday.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

The Colorado-based referee, who has previously officiated in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup competition, took charge of his first international assignment in Africa during Kenya’s 46-15 win over Tunisia in Nairobi.

In an interview with Rugby Africa (formerly Confederation of African Rugby)’s official website rugbyafrique.com, Weaver admitted that he still had a lot to learn about the culture and style of play in Africa.

“I don’t know much about rugby in Kenya, Tunisia or Zimbabwe, but I know they are growing,” Weaver said.

“I refereed in South Africa, which was an amazing experience. I learned so much from the people and the rugby that I am excited to return to Africa to continue my development. I [will] travel to South America in August and hope to do the same in Argentina,” he said.

Weaver, who is also the director for youth and high school rugby in the United States, promised to stick to his style of refereeing, adding that despite the diversity of cultures among countries, rugby was the same all over the world.

“The best way I can serve the game is to referee it the same way I do any match, and keep consistent with my style and the law.
I do try to watch video of the teams and learn about specific styles and culture, but I have learned that rugby is rugby across the world,” he observed while promising to be neutral.

“With Kenya’s men and Tunisia’s women 7s programmes doing so well, it can only help rugby grow in those places. I know how rugby being brought into the Olympics has helped the growth of rugby around the World and I can’t wait to see African rugby growing in all the countries!” Weaver told rugbyafrique.com.

Meanwhile, the Old Mutual U-13 Young Sables suffered their second loss at the Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week after a narrow 15-7 loss against the Griquas U-13 side at Hoërskool Rob Ferreira in Mpumalanga, South Africa, yesterday.

Despite failing to register their first win of the competition, the young side, however, put on a much improved display after a dispiriting 40-0 loss to the Blue Bulls in their opening match on Monday.


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