DESPITE being born and raised in Durban, Jonathan Kaplan will be refereeing Queensland Reds' elimination final against the Durban-based Sharks.
The SANZAR appointment has raised questions over whether Super Rugby finals should have neutral referees as Saturday night's match will also feature a South African touch judge in Craig Joubert.
The Reds were on the receiving end of an enormous penalty count in their last game under Kaplan, against the Highlanders in June.
The Reds conceded 17 penalties compared to their rivals' 10 but still won 19-13.
In fact, after only 15 minutes of play, eight penalties had been blown and the game became a stop-start whistle-fest.
Kaplan is considered among the best in the world, however, he has drawn savage criticism in the past and is known for being overly pedantic.
In 2009, England attack coach Brian Smith accused Kaplan of not being even-handed and claimed his performance in England's 23-15 defeat to Wales had been influenced by the Welsh management.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie played down the impact Kaplan could have and said he was deserving of his finals appointment.
"As soon as I saw the appointment I knew some people would raise the debate," McKenzie said.