DOCTOR BEN O’KEEFFE – WORLD CUP RUGBY BOUND

Ben O’Keeffe continues to juggle his work as an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) as well as being one of the top ranked rugby refs in the World.

BEN O'KEEFFE - ONE OF THE BEST.

The Blenheim raised 34 year-old was named recently as one of 12 referees to officiate at this year’s World Cup starting in September in France and he can’t wait to get there.

The youngest ref at the previous World Cup in Japan where he officiated in all the knockout games including the final, he knows what he’s in for and reckons he’s even better equipped now to do a good job.

His most recent appointment in Europe was the Six Nations clash between France and England at Twickenham and one thing he noticed about Northern Hemisphere rugby is that their style of play is closer to what we get in the Southern Hemisphere with teams looking to use the ball more.

He expects this World Cup to be a big success and reckons the passion of teams and their supporters in France and the UK is very intense.

Ben is delighted that Joy Neville from Ireland has been selected as a TMO and he only has good words to say about the number one ranked ref in the World, Englishman Wayne Barnes who now has 102 international caps to his name. Barnes was a controversial figure when he reffed the All Blacks quarterfinal exit against France in the 2007 World Cup and this year’s tournament will be his fifth World Cup.

WAYNE BARNES AND BEN O'KEEFFE - IN THEIR "DAY" JOBS.

Just like the players, World Cup refs have buildup games leading into the World Cup, Ben is reffing the Springboks v Wallabies Rugby Championship clash in Pretoria and closer to the time he’s in charge of warm-up matches, Scotland v Italy and Scotland v France both at Murrayfield, his favourite ground.

Listen to my (John Alexander) chat with Ben O’Keeffe as the former Marlborough Boys College first 15 winger and I talk all things rugby.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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