A familiar name on the premier refereeing panel will hang up his premier whistle after taking charge of the Papatoetoe v Te Papapa fixture tomorrow.
Paul van Etten, or PVE as he is known to many, will officiate his 175th and last premier match this weekend, calling time on an impressive premier career.
van Etten’s service to the Auckland Rugby Referees Association has been first class, alongside his on-field accolades, he has also held roles as the Referee Educational Officer, First Year tutor and currently sits as the Council of Delegates representative.
Auckland Rugby’s Match Official Manager Smudge McNeilage spoke highly of van Etten’s contribution.
“PVE has, for a very long time, been the players’ referee. Loved by all for his free-flowing interpretation of the law, PVE won the Referee of the Year (as voted for by the Managers/players) a multitude of times.
“He has always been available, for several hours after the game, in the club rooms for post-match debriefs which have been enjoyed by many.
“PVE has been the model premier referee who was always available to referee anywhere, anytime. We have been extremely fortunate to have such a referee in our association over such a long period,” said McNeilage.
ARRA President Steve Piacun echoed McNeilage’s sentiment.
“He has been an outstanding servant for his various different roles across the association for years.
“A valued member of the current premier panel, he is very well liked across the wider Auckland rugby community and the association wishes him all the best in his final premier game tomorrow.”
It won’t be the last time we see PVE on the field, he will continue to referee.