Summer tournament officials named

World Rugby has revealed the referee panels for the Nations Cup and World U20 Championship tournaments this summer.

Damian Schneider
Damian Schneider will officiate at the Nations Cup this summer

Argentine referee Damián Schneider (pic left) is one of four referees named to World Rugby’s Nations Cup match officials panel. He joins Vlad Iordechescu of Romania, Shota Tevzadze of Georgia, and Scotland’s Lloyd Linton at the 11th running of the event which begins in Bucharest on 9th June.  Host nation, Romania will be joined by Spain, Namibia, Emerging Italy, and from the Americas both Uruguay and an Argentina XV.

Over in Manchester, England, nine match officilas have been selected from Argentina, Australia, England, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Wales and South Africa to take charge of the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship  when it kicks off at the end of June.

Andrew Brace (Ireland), Thomas Charabas (France), Graham Cooper (Australia), Craig Evans (Wales), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Craig Maxwell Keys (England), Elia Rizzo (Italy), Juan Sylvestre (Argentina), Paul Williams (New Zealand) all make the grade.

World Rugby sees the U20 Championship as a crucial development tournament for  emerging match officials with many of the current top international referees having previously appeared in it. Outgoing World Rugby High Performance Match Officials Manager Joël Jutge said, “The U20 Championship is a crucial platform for referees to take the next step up.

“With the level of competition increasing year on year, the tournament is an important part of our process to develop referees. They are aided by referee selectors and coaches, and the feedback they receive will benefit them for years to come.

“We are now seeing the majority of U20 Championship referees move up to the elite level and I have no doubt that this quality group of match officials can do the same.”

Elia Rizzo
Elia Rizzo taking charge in his second U20 World Championships in June 2016

Italian referee Elia Rizzo, 26, (pictured) will apear at his second U20 Championship, after also being chosen for last year’s tournament in his native country; “The championship is a fantastic competition and it represents a great opportunity for young referees to prove themselves at such a tough tournament. My experience last year helped me improve and really tested my skills as a referee. I can’t wait to take charge of the future stars of world rugby in June.”