Jackson takes steps towards ref dream
July 1, 2010
Former Saracens fly-half Glen Jackson has begun his career as a referee © Getty Images
Former Saracens fly-half Glen Jackson has taken his first step on the road to Test refereeing after reporting for duty with the New Zealand professional referees' squad.
Jackson, 34, hung up his boots following Sarries' defeat to Leicester in the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham in May and will make his refereeing bow at New Zealand provincial level next month in the second-tier Heartland Championship.
Jackson's overall aim is to referee at international level, possibly in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
"I used to flat with [Test referee] Bryce Lawrence and seeing how far he's gone, it seemed like a good way to stay in the game and give something back," Jackson said. "It's nice to think about what the future holds and hopefully be able to do a Test match in maybe four years time. I'm just keeping my head down at the moment and try to get through this initiation period, and hopefully do a good job.
"It's certainly better rugby over here and the weather is much better. I had two games in the snow back in England. My second game was Tauranga Sports v Mt Maunganui, I played for both of them so I certainly copped a bit from those guys."
New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) high performance referee manager Lyndon Bray has confidence in Jackson's ability and predicts that the former Bay of Plenty pivot will be refereeing at ITM Cup level by next season.
"I've got a huge confidence that he'll handle the refereeing environment on the field and off the field extremely well," Bray said. "I can see Glenn refereeing regularly in ITM Cup next year, that's very achievable. I think for Super 15 we'd be looking 2012 at the earliest."