12 Aug 2015

Jackson whistles up double century

11:31 am on 12 August 2015

Referee Glen Jackson is set to make history this weekend, becoming the first New Zealander to both play and referee 100 first-class games of rugby.

Jackson will reach the milestone on Sunday morning when he takes charge of the Argentina - South Africa match in Buenos Aires.

Jackson said he never expected to move through the refereeing levels so quickly.

Glenn Jackson - the referee.

Glenn Jackson - the referee. Photo: Photosport

"It's been a hell of a lot of hard work but at times pretty rewarding as well," said Jackson.

"I never expected to start refereeing four or five years ago and go to a World Cup, so I'm pretty stoked to be doing that."

Milestones are not uncommon for Jackson, whose playing career included appearances for the Māori All Blacks, Chiefs, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Saracens.

Jackson said changing from player to referee posed many challenges.

"In rugby (as a player) you could prepare yourself for an opposition and what to do to try and get a win.

Glenn Jackson - the player

Glenn Jackson - the player. Photo: Photosport

"As a referee you have to do exactly what is in front of you. You can prepare all you like, but it's what is served up in front of you (that you have to deal with). That, and being able to think quickly on your feet," he said.

"That has been the biggest change in terms of how you prepare during the week and what preparation you can actually do. It's about being ready for everything I suppose," he said

With the World Cup looming as his next career challenge, he will be sticking to the formula that has quickly propelled him to the highest levels of the game.

"You could blow your whistle any time you want. Every ruck there is something going on, it's more about understanding what the game needs and when it is important to step up.

"You've just got to realise that you're never going to be 100 percent right in any game. It's just about understanding the times that you are wrong that you've got to go through it, and it's a massive talking point. You've got to understand that. That's the big art of refereeing."

New Zealand Rugby General Manager, Neil Sorensen said this was a fantastic achievement for the former first-five eighth who joined the New Zealand professional referees team in 2010.

"An achievement such as this is noteworthy, especially for someone who has only spent five years as a referee.

"It's a credit to Jacko who's brought the dedication, skill and acumen which he displayed as a player into his new profession," he said.