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.''