Keen young referee organises tournament

Kavanagh College's Jack Buchan (12, centre) organised a rugby tournament for former schoolmates at St Joseph's Cathedral School and even bought a trophy with his own money. Photo by Tim Miller.
Kavanagh College's Jack Buchan (12, centre) organised a rugby tournament for former schoolmates at St Joseph's Cathedral School and even bought a trophy with his own money. Photo by Tim Miller.
Pulling on an All Blacks jersey is a dream of many young boys across New Zealand, but Dunedin schoolboy Jack Buchan has a slightly different rugby dream.

Instead of the black jersey, the Kavanagh College pupil has his eyes set on the referee's whistle.

Jack (12) is so passionate about rugby and refereeing he organised a rugby tournament for his old schoolmates at St Joseph's Cathedral School.

Jack said he wanted to give something back to the school, which had been so good to him.

''I was talking to my mates and they said they hadn't been playing much rugby so I thought I would organise something for them,'' he said.

Not content with just organising, he also bought a trophy with his own money.

While a pupil at the school, Jack honed his referring skills on the rugby field at lunch time.

His dedication to refereeing was such that the constant whistling during lunch times even drew the attention of some of the school's neighbours.

The tournament capped off an eventful year for Jack, which included getting a tour of the Sky Television commentary box, getting some tips from former All Black Justin Marshall, and a happy birthday message live on television from golf commentators at the British Open.

Wanting to learn as much as he could about the art of the whistle, Jack contacted international referee Craig Joubert before the All Blacks' game against Australia in Dunedin earlier this year and met him before the game.

Next year looks to be as eventful, with Jack refereeing his first official rugby match, but any dreams that Dunedin might be home to the world's youngest rugby referee were dashed after an 11-year-old from England took that title - not that it bothers Jack.

''I don't mind because I want to keep playing so I can understand the players better when I'm refereeing.''

 

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