World Rugby’s up and coming match officials have landed in Tblisi ahead of the U20 Championship in Georgia from 31 May-18 June.
The nine referees, supporting assistant referees and Television Match Officials (TMOs) will officiate over the five match days in Tbilisi and Kutaisi.
England are the defending champions after winning the tournament in Manchester 2016, while hosts Georgia will be eager to build on their 10th place finish on their Championship debut last time out.
The U20 Championship 2017 referees are:
- Mike Adamson (Scotland)
- Nic Berry (Australia)
- Pierre Brousset (France)
- Pablo DeLuca (Argentina)
- Tom Foley (England)
- Dan Jones (Wales)
- Frank Murphy (Ireland)
- Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
- Jaco van Heerden (South Africa).
The nine referees will be joined by ARs, Christophe Ridley (England), Andrea Piardi (Italy) and Tasuku Kawahara (Japan) and TMOs Johan Greeff (South Africa), Jon Mason (Wales), and Charles Samson (Scotland).
With the U20 Championship showcasing the future stars of world rugby, the tournament is also a crucial pathway for match officials. World Rugby High Performance 15s Match Official Manager Alain Rolland said: “I am really looking forward to working with the match officials for this year’s tournament in Georgia.
“This year will see four ex-professional players among the team, in addition to referees who are already involved in the PRO12, Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and Super Rugby.
“The tournament is seen as a pathway for the next generation of international players and for the referees it’s no different. Previous referees that have progressed into international test matches include Angus Gardner, Ben O’Keeffe, Paul Williams, Marius van der Westhuizen and Matthew Carley, to name a few. It’s also a great opportunity for our TMOs to experience a top-class tournament and get the opportunity to step up to the next level.”