Andre Watson – Former Referee Speaker

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Andre Watson - Former Referee Speaker
Andre Watson - Former Referee Speaker

Andre Watson – Former Referee Speaker once made a bet that he could do a better job than a referee during a school match. Little did Andre know, that he would one day take control of a Rugby World Cup Final, as he did in 1999 when Australia beat France in Cardiff. Andre is now available through Speakers Inc.

Andre, who plays golf off a handicap of three, took up the challenge and started refereeing in 1987, making the South Africa RFU panel several years later and his test debut with Australia’s 74-9 defeat of Canada in Brisbane on the 29th of June in 1996.

Andre Watson – Former Referee Speaker

South Africa’s leading referee has gone from strength to strength and amongst the other highlights, listed on his CV is the first test between Australia and the British and Irish Lions in Sydney in June 2001 as well as a record six Currie Cup finals.

A civil engineer (before becoming a professional referee), Andre has also taken charge of the four of the eight Super 12 finals since 1996, including the last two show-downs won by Canterbury Crusaders and Auckland Blues, respectively.

He played fly half (in his youth) for Transvaal Schools XV, the University of Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand University and he has more than 20 tests to his name.

The highlight of Andre’s career was his feat of refereeing successive World Cup finals – at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 1999 when Australia and France played, as well as at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney, where England beat Australia. In addition to this, he has refereed five Super 12 finals and six Currie Cup finals. The last one was his 27th test, making him the most capped referee in South Africa’s history, followed by Jonathan Kaplan.

Andre’s term, ‘Lazy Runners’ has become part of common rugby terminology.

Andre Watson – Former Referee Speaker

He was educated at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Witwatersrand, qualifying as an engineer.

He left engineering to become the CEO of Falcons Rugby Union and then moved on to become a full time referee. In 2004, he decided to retire from refereeing international rugby.

With a wealth of experience in the international game of rugby, Andre offers his audiences great insight into the game and what it takes to become the world’s most respected referee.

He is an entertaining and experienced speaker and he has a wealth of amusing anecdotes with his presentations always well received. Follow Speakers inc on Twitter

He talks very frankly of his relationships with players, coaches and his fellow referees and of the painful criticisms that he received during his career.

Watson tells how his ‘big mouth’ got him into refereeing, he speaks fondly about his great friendship with New Zealand referee, Paddy O’Brien and he explains how he feigned stomach cramps to hide a calf muscle injury which seriously threatened to affect his World Cup final in 1999.

Andre Watson – Former Referee Speaker

More About Andre Watson:

Andre was educated at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Witwatersrand, qualifying as an Engineer. He left engineering to become the CEO of the Falcons Rugby Union, and then moved on, to become a full-time referee.  In 2004, Watson decided to retire from refereeing international rugby.

What Andre Watson offers you

With a wealth of experience in the international game of Rugby, Andre offers audiences great insight into the game and what it takes to become the world’s most respected referee.

How he presents

An entertaining and experienced public speaker, Andre has a wealth of amusing anecdotes and his presentations are always well-received.

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Andre Watson

He talks very frankly of his relationships with players, coaches and his fellow referees and of the painful criticisms he received during his career. Watson tells how his ‘big mouth’ got him into refereeing, speaks fondly about his great friendship with New Zealand referee Paddy O’ Brien, and explains how he feigned stomach cramps to hide a calf muscle injury which seriously threatened to affect his Wold Cup final in 1999.