In a significant announcement, international referee Jaco Peyper, aged 43, has revealed his retirement from officiating.
The decision comes as a result of various factors, with a notable Achilles tendon injury suffered during the Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final clash between Wales and Argentina in Marseille on October 15 playing a significant role.
Unfortunately, this injury has sidelined Peyper, preventing his participation in the upcoming Guinness Men’s Six Nations. This marks the conclusion of a remarkable journey in the world of sports officiating for the accomplished referee.
Peyper said: “I literally grew up next to the rugby field as my dad was a coach, and later on I played and coached the game before I took up the opportunity to go into refereeing. There are always tough times at high-end refereeing, but since making my first-class debut 17 years ago rugby has only been good to me.
“It’s been a great journey, I have made many wonderful friends and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many fantastic places around the world. All things considered, now is perhaps the best time to step away from active refereeing to spend more time with my lovely wife and two beautiful daughters, as well as my growing business interests.
“There are many people I would like to thank and will do so personally, but I want to give a special word of thanks to the CEOs of SA Rugby for backing me, the support I’ve received from the High-Performance division, my fellow match officials and World Rugby management, and specifically the Springboks, whom I’ve worked with closely and who have helped me become a better referee.
“I’d love to say what a super opportunity refereeing is to be involved with the game you love, even though its perceived as such unforgiving job – I have made friends in all rugby playing countries and cultures and see some of the most awesome places whilst we called it work.
“Rugby is part of my life, and although I’m closing the door on active refereeing, I would love nothing more than to stay involved in this wonderful game and plough back after what it’s given me.”
LIST | The day jobs of your favourite rugby referees
Just refereeing doesn’t always pay the bills for some of the games top whistle blowers, including Nigel Owens and Wayne Barnes.
Here’s the rundown on how they make extra cash when not taking to the field.
1. Jaco Peyper – Lawyer
The 41-year-old still operated as an attorney for his family business, Peyper Attorneys while being one of the worlds best referees. He will now concentrate his efforts on this full-time.