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Peter Bills: A week in the life of a world-class referee

South African referee Jonathan Kaplan, who took charge of the Wales v France 6 Nations match last night in Cardiff, has had an interesting week.

He flew from his Cape Town home last Friday morning, to Durban, to take charge of the Sharks v Cheetahs Super 14 game. Unfortunately, he became ill during the first half, and spent the last 40 minutes of the game in his dressing room, sweating, shaking and feeling rotten.

Kaplan did manage to fly back to Cape Town the next day, rested that evening and then prepared for a Sunday night flight to London. He went straight to Cardiff from Heathrow airport and has been there all week.

This morning, he’ll be journeying back to London to spend a night with his sister before catching the flight to Cape Town tomorrow evening. Come Monday lunchtime, he’ll be out for a light jog by the sea at Cape Town to loosen up after the long travelling.

It’s a glimpse into the hectic, crazy world of the professional referees these days.

Belfast Telegraph