Former ‘mouthy’ halfback turned referee still scratching head after RWC 2019 dream

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Taranaki rugby referee Paul Williams says commonsense was needed in deciding whether high tackles were deliberate or not.

ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Taranaki rugby referee Paul Williams says commonsense was needed in deciding whether high tackles were deliberate or not.

How did a farm kid from a little country school near Pātea get to referee at the Rugby World Cup in Japan?

Taranaki man Paul Williams is still trying to figure that one out.

He is about to move into his new Oakura home after officiating at three pool games: England v Tonga, Fiji v Georgia, and Argentina v USA.

He would have had the whistle for the Uruguay v Canada game too had it not been cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

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The tournament was the pinnacle of his professional career so far, he said.

“I grew up on a dairy farm at Whenuakura and somehow bluffed my way to a Rugby World Cup,” he said.

Paul Williams checks if Manu Tuilagi of England grounds the ball during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group C game between England and Tonga.

Mark Kolbe

Paul Williams checks if Manu Tuilagi of England grounds the ball during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group C game between England and Tonga.

“It was pretty unreal.”

In 2011 Williams 

These constituents are quite awesome!!

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