Joubert ready to kick-off road to RWC 2015
It may seem a million miles away from the Rugby World Cup 2011 Final at Eden Park, but leading referee Craig Joubert will go through the same detailed pre-match routine when he takes charge of Mexico versus Jamaica in the opening Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification match in Mexico City on Saturday afternoon (15:30 local time).
The South African arrived in Mexico City on Wednesday to undertake an itinerary of promotional activities and workshops ahead of the big match which will kick-start a journey that will see 80 Unions from six continents compete across 184 matches for the right to claim one of the eight places available via the qualification process for England 2015.
Joubert, who has refereed 33 Tests, said: "It is a great honour to have been selected for this opening Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification match. The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport for players, coaches, fans and, of course, the match officials and I am looking forward to kicking off the road to England 2015."
A little under six months ago Joubert was taking charge of the biggest match of his career when New Zealand defeated France in a compelling Rugby World Cup 2011 Final. However, the 34-year-old says that his preparation will be no different to the build up to that epic match at Eden Park.
"I am really looking forward to the match. There will be no difference in the way that I approach it compared to say a Six Nations match, a Rugby World Cup match or indeed the Rugby World Cup Final."
"The preparation will be the same. I will meet with the two coaches, I will go through the same pre-match routine, I will concentrate on the same five areas, aim for consistency and most of all enjoy it."
Rugby in Mexico is on the rise and Joubert took time out of his busy schedule of preparation to visit a University match in Mexico City to meet with some of the Federación Mexicana de Rugby’s best up and coming match officials and offer his advice.
"I have been impressed with the sheer appetite and enthusiasm for Rugby here in Mexico. The match officials may not be full time, but it was a privilege to spend time with the guys, who had taken time out of their jobs, to discuss refereeing, answer their questions and run a short technical session."