At the glittering World Rugby Awards ceremony in London last night, the World Rugby Referee Award was awarded, for the first time jointly, to Alhambra Nievas of Spain and Rasta Rasivhenge from South Africa.
Nievas and Rasivhenge refereed the women’s and men’s Olympic gold medal matches in Rio to bring the curtain down on impressive seasons on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series match official panels. Nievas, nominated for the second year running and one of the leading women’s referees in 15s rugby, also took charge of three cup finals on the series in Sao Paulo, Langford and Clermont-Ferrand. Rasivhenge officiated on both the men’s and women’s series, taking charge of the men’s finals in Sydney and Las Vegas. In the 15s game, he refereed his first test match (Namibia v Uganda), and blew the whistle in his debut SuperRugby season.
The other two nominees were Jérôme Garcès (France) and Jaco Peyper (South Africa).
New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett and England’s Sarah Hunter were named World Rugby Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year 2016 at the ceremony.
Our congratulations to Alhambra and Rasta!