Statement: Another International referee confirms shock retirement - Ruck

Statement: Another International referee confirms shock retirement

Renowned New Zealand referee Brendon Pickerill is stepping away from officiating, with his last match scheduled for this weekend’s Super Rugby Pacific showdown between Moana Pasifika and the Melbourne Rebels.

His choice mirrors that of Wayne Barnes, Jaco Peyper, Tom Foley, and Joy Neville, all of whom retired from officiating for various reasons after the recent tournament in France.

New Zealand Rugby officially announced Pickerill’s retirement on Tuesday through a concise statement shared across their social media platforms.

“After 151 first-class matches, including 10 Test matches, 60 Super Rugby matches, and 58 NPC matches, Brendon Pickerill has made the tough decision to hang up his whistle,” their Instagram post read.

“Known for his consistency, proficiency, and calm nature on the pitch, and his professionalism and passion for the game off of the pitch, we wish Brendon well on his next adventure. Ngā mihi nui, you’ll always be part of the NZR whānau.”

How much do Six Nations rugby referees get paid? Is it worth it?

In the high-stakes world of rugby, referees hold the pivotal role of arbitrating the game’s intense battles on the field.

With each whistle blow, their decisions can sway the outcome, making their job one of the toughest in sports.

But what’s the price tag on this responsibility?

Referees’ earnings hinge on their category: rookies, women, or seasoned pros. For those new to the scene, like rookies and female referees, the paycheck typically hovers around £400 per match, summing up to roughly £16k annually.

Yet, it’s the seasoned professionals who rake in the big bucks. For lower-tier clashes, they can pocket a cool £1.2k, while officiating at the main events could fetch them a hefty £2.2k per match, boasting an impressive yearly income of £160k.

However, the spotlight shines even brighter for the illustrious 2024 Six Nations referees, with reports swirling that they’ll command a staggering £5k per game.

Now that’s a payday worth blowing the whistle for!

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Day jobs of Six Nations referee’s

1 Ben O’Keeffe – Eye Doctor

Ben O’Keeffe is one of New Zealand’s six full-time rugby referees. Alongside O’Keeffe’s on-field role, which sees him take charge of Super Rugby’s most exciting talents, the 34-year-old is also a fully-qualified ophthalmologist or eye doctor.

Dr Ben specialises in eye health and disease, and he is the Director and Founder of oDocs Eye Care. O’Keeffe established the organisation eight years ago, with the company striving to end preventable blindness through state of the art techniques.

The goal of oDocs is to make eye care more affordable across the globe, with the rugby referee at the heart of the ground-breaking progressions.

Referee, Ben O’Keeffe watches the TMO for a tackle against George North of Wales during the Guinness Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 7 2020. – PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK