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Walsh to make Super 14 return
Scrum.com
February 8, 2010
Referee Steve Walsh of New Zealand officiates during the Rugby World Cup 2007 Pool C match between Georgia and Namibia at the Stade Felix Bollaert in Lens, France on September 26, 2007.
Steve Walsh will return to refereeing in the Super 14 © Getty Images
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  • Former international referee Steve Walsh has been named among the officials for the opening round of the Super 14 by SANZAR referees manager Lyndon Bray.

    Walsh will take charge of the Western Force-Brumbies game in Perth on Friday. In April last year, the New Zealand Rugby Union said Walsh had retired from refereeing following an inquiry into a personal employment issue. In an interview later, Walsh said alcohol-related "unacceptable behaviour" during a Sanzar conference in December 2007 had led to the decision. He shifted to Sydney and late last year was offered a two-year contract with the Australian Rugby Union.

    Australia's Stuart Dickinson will whistle the first match for 2010 with the Blues against the Hurricanes in Auckland, while South African Jonathan Kaplan will referee last year's Super 14 champions, the Bulls who face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Fellow South Africans Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper and New Zealanders Chris Pollock and Keith Brown will all have first round duties with the whistle.

  • Former Springbok lock Albert van den Berg has joined Japanese club Canon following the expiration of his deal with the Sharks. Van den Berg, 36, played 51 Tests for South Africa between 1999 and 2007 and was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad.

  • Dragons back-row Joe Bearman has undergone successful surgery on a troublesome groin inury and is expected to resume playing with the Magners League side before the end of the season.

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