In 2009, international Rugby Union official Jonathan Kaplan became the first referee to reach the milestone of 50 international Test matches, making him the most experienced Test referee of all time. At his retirement in February 2013, his career record stood at 68 Test matches.
Other officiating records held by Kaplan are: most Bledisloe Cup matches (7); most Tri Nations matches (7); most Six Nations matches (16); the only referee to have participated in four British and Irish Lions tours, and to have had officiated matches in all three tour countries.
Kaplan also holds officiating records for most Rugby World Cup appearances (3–1999, 2003, 2007), and most World Cup games (9); most Super 14 games (75–including 3 finals and 4 semi-finals); and most Currie Cup matches (13–including 5 finals and 4 semi-finals).
Kaplan began refereeing in 1984, while still a Durban high school student. He made his first-class debut in 1991 and was appointed to South Africa's national panel of referees in 1993. He made his international debut in a May 1996. Kaplan was a touch judge for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and referee for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He was one of the twelve referees appointed to officiate at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
He is the only official awarded 'South African Referee of the Year' four years in succession (2003–07).