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Remy Lemme (29) says he has always loved the game but his incentive to become the man with the whistle was through watching one of the All Blacks' most nail-biting victories.
Lemme has been officiating in Dunedin this year and is one of about 100 referees which make up the Otago Rugby Referees Association.
The association had increased its numbers from last year, now hitting triple figures and officiating right down to the junior grades.
One of those is Lemme, who has refereed women's games, including the women's club final in Dunedin and also other grades.
He was born in Paris to an Italian father and French mother.
His mother died when he was young and he moved to Argentina when he was 8 with his father and his new partner.
This is where he started playing the game as a halfback in Bueno Aires.
In 2001 he left Argentina to move back to Italy and the southern city of L'Aquila.
He continued to play rugby through his teenage years and then at 18 moved back to Argentina.
But the game was getting too serious for him, so he decided to give it away.
But watching the 2011 World Cup final between the All Blacks and France while living in England, and being disappointed in some of referee Craig Joubert's calls, he decided to take up the whistle.
''There were some - how can I say it - interesting calls there.''
He returned to Bueno Aires and took up the whistle and has carried on for the past few years.
''You are like the orchestra director out there. When I started I thought I would get so stressed I would end up losing my hair. But it has been much better than that. I really feel like I have been participating in the game.''
Lemme is a bit of a nomad, and at the start of this year a friend suggested he travel to New Zealand, so he did.
He explored the South Island and ended up in Dunedin. He went along to the referees association one night and has been fully welcomed into the fold.
He said it had been a great experience in Dunedin and he was looking forward to continuing his refereeing, wherever that may be, when he leaves New Zealand at the end of the year.