Title: Call It Like It Is
Subtitle: The Jonathan Kaplan Story
Authors: Mike Behr; Jonathan Kaplan
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Imprint: Zebra Press
Cape Town, South Africa 2014
ISBN 9781770225855 / ISBN 978-1-77022-585-5
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 320 pages, many photos
The world of the international rugby referee has always been a closely guarded secret, until now. As a Durban schoolboy, Jonathan Kaplan watched rugby at Kings Park every Saturday, dreaming of the day he would represent his country. Now, three decades later and at the age of 47, he reflects on the career highs and lows that saw him retire as the most capped international, Super Rugby and Currie Cup referee of all time. But records and milestones are just a part of an intriguing memoir that affords the reader a rare glimpse into the world of international refereeing, and what lies behind that enigmatic, penetrating glare that is as typical of Jonathan Kaplan as his silver-grey patch of hair.
In Call It Like It Is, Kaplan describes exactly what it takes to be an international rugby referee: his gradual climb to the top, the sacrifices he had to make in his personal life, his struggle with injuries and rugby management, the toll an itinerant lifestyle exacted upon him, and much, much more. But this is not only an autobiography: Kaplan also offers his opinion on the role of technology in rugby, dissects his own successes and failures, debates the selection and assessment of referees, and, yes, gives his take on the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the Bryce Lawrence affair. This is the frank and forthright account of a man who, both in life and on the pitch, would only ever call it like it is.