Sevens referee squads unveiled for 2016-17 series

World Rugby has announced the 21 men and 12 women referees who wll make up the 2016-17 panel on the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the first within the new four-year Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycle.

After whittling down from a record 60 nominations from 29 unions, the World Rugby appointments panel have brought through a number of new referees while maintianing a level of experience.

Players turned whistlers


Many of the newer names have seen sevens action recently, but with ball in hand rather than whistle. Former Wallaby 7s player Damon Murphy (pictured above) will join ex-England star Richard Haughton, who scored more than 100 series tries between 2000 and 2006. Both are progressing well through the refereeing ranks of their respective unions. Former sevens stars Joy Neville (Ireland), Rebecca Mahoney (New Zealand) and Hollie Davidson (Scotland) all join the female circuit.

Olympic gold medal match referees Rasta Rasivhenge and Alhambra Nievas return to the series, again looking ahead to the 2020 games in Tokyo.

The 2016-17 men’s selection committee is chaired by Anthony Buchanan (Wales) along with recently retired referees Anthony Moyes (Australia) and James McPhail (Netherlands) as well as Ricardo Bordcoch (Argentina) and World Rugby High Performance Sevens Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien. The women’s selection panel is also chaired by Buchanan and features former referees Clare Daniels (England) and David Keane (Ireland) as well as Bordcoch and O’Brien.

Buchanan said: “Following on from the success of the Olympic Games in Rio, the selectors were delighted with the interest shown by unions in nominating referees for the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. This is the start of the four-year cycle leading into Tokyo 2020 and it is extremely pleasing to note the number of ex-international players now taking up the whistle.

“Now is the time to bring through the new generation of match officials that will bring us to the next Olympic Games.”

Men’s panel: 

Chris Assmus (Rugby Canada) Adam Jones (WRU)
Pierre Brousset (FFR) Richard Kelly (NZR)
Ben Crouse (SARU) Jaco Kotze (SARU)
Pablo De Luca (UAR) Damon Murphy (ARU)
James Doleman (NZR) Mike O’Brien (USA Rugby)
Paulo Duarte (FPR) Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU)
Craig Evans (WRU) Matt Rodden (HKRFU)
Sam Grove White (SRU) Tevita Rokovereni (FRU)
Richard Haughton (RFU) Damian Schneider (UAR)
Nori Hashimoto (JRFU) Kaveni Talemaivavalagi (FRU)
Jordan Way (ARU)

Women’s panel: 

Aimee Barrett (SARU) Sakurako Kawasaki (JRFU)
Beatrice Benvenuti (FIR) Rose La Breche (Rugby Canada)
Sara Cox (RFU) Rebecca Mahoney (NZR)
Ben Crouse (SARU) Joy Neville (IRFU)
Hollie Davidson (SRU) Alhambra Nievas (FER)
Adam Jones (WRU) Amy Perrett (ARU)

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