Love them or loathe them, without referees, there would be no game of rugby union.
As a result, RUCK asked fans to debate who are the best rugby referees in the world.
Of course, criticism of officials often comes with the territory, but every so often, a referee has a game that makes the sport’s fraternity stand up and take notice.
Here are, according to fans, the five best rugby union referees at present.
5. Angus Gardner (Australia)
As a teenager, he was a keen rugby player until he was diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Disease [a hereditary disc condition].
Gardner refereed his first international match in 2011, taking charge of Papua New Guinea vs Vanuatu. A year later he refereed his first Super Rugby fixture, Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels.
In 2018, he refereed the Super Rugby final, and the same year he went on to win World Rugby’s Referee of the Year award.