Match officials announced for RWC Sevens

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 10 April 2013  
 Match officials announced for RWC Sevens
Anthony Moyes is one of 10 male referees on the RWC Sevens 2013 panel

  • 20 nations represented highlighting Rugby’s reach
  • Record 14 female match officials selected
  • Major milestone on the Road to Rio 2016 for top officials
  • Russia 2013 set to capture the imagination
The International Rugby Board has announced the panel of match officials who will preside over the 100 matches at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

With one eye on Rugby Sevens’ debut at the 2016 Olympic Games, the event from June 28-30 is not just an opportunity for the world’s top 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams to showcase their Rio credentials, but it also provides a platform for the world’s top match officials to stake a claim.

In total 20 nationalities are represented within the panel of 17 referees that will preside over the 58 men's and 42 women's matches. A further 23 dedicated assistant referees and in-goal assistants have also been selected by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by John Jeffrey.

With competition for places intense, the Committee considered all performances on the record-breaking HSBC Sevens World Series and the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, which is playing a key role in promoting the very best female referees.

With IRB High Performance Sevens Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien driving forward elite Sevens match official standards, the men’s panel features the cream of those performing on the Series. They are: James McPhail (New Zealand); Anthony Moyes; Matthew O’Brien (both Australia); Marius van der Westhuizen; Rasta Rasivhenge (both South Africa); Federico Anselmi (Argentina); Rhys Thomas (Wales); Kevin White (Scotland) and Alexandre Ruiz (France). James Bolabiu (Fiji) is the only male panel member to have officiated in Dubai four years ago. The panel will be supported by 16 specialist assistant and in-goal referees.

Reaffirming the continued advances in standards of officiating in the Women’s Game, seven of the world’s top female referees have been selected in the panel - three more than for Dubai 2009. They are: Marlize Jordaan (South Africa); Sherry Trumbull (Canada); Amy Perrett (Australia); Chelsea Gurr; Jess Beard (both New Zealand); Leah Berard (USA) and Gabriel Lee (Hong Kong), who took charge of a captivating women’s final in 2009. They will be supported by seven specialist assistant and in-goal referees, completing a record panel of 14 female match officials selected for the event.

Jeffrey said: "The panel contains a blend of the very best men’s and women’s international referees who have proven themselves in the challenging HSBC Sevens World Series and IRB Women’s Sevens World Series. All are included on merit.”

"The seven female referees appointed to the tournament will take charge of matches in the Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens competition, which runs alongside the men's. It is a great opportunity for referees who have proven themselves on the Women’s Series to showcase their talent on Rugby Sevens' biggest global stage."

"Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 promises to be a spectacular global showcase for teams and fans and for our match officials the experience will be no different. As we build towards our Olympic Games return in 2016, the event will provide exposure to a high-intensity, high-paced environment that tests physical, aerobic and mental skills.”

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will bring together the finest men’s and women’s Sevens players in the world for a three-day festival of world-class sport, entertainment and hospitality at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in the heart of the city.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Planning and preparation is on track and Russia has a proud history of staging exceptional major sporting and cultural events. The Rugby Union of Russia and the Russian Government, in partnership with the IRB, are collaborating to deliver a world-class festival on and off the pitch. It will be a Rugby World Cup Sevens festival like no other."