Aspiring officials set sights on RWC 2015

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 8 June 2011
 Aspiring officials set sights on RWC 2015
The match officials at JWC 2011 in Italy - Photo: Getty Images

  •  World’s top up and coming referees assemble in Italy
  • JWC Platform for elite referee development
  • Consistency and zero-tolerance on foul play key messages

While the world’s top Match Officials are finalising their preparations for Rugby World Cup 2011 in less than 100 days time, the next generation of international match officials have assembled in Italy to begin their journey towards Rugby World Cup 2015.

The IRB Junior World Championship 2011, which brings together the best Under 20 players from 12 national teams, will deliver the development platform for the very best up and coming Referees and Assistant Referees to prepare for the challenging Test match environment.

The class of 2011 features a blend of experience and up and coming talent spotted via a dedicated talent identification system involving Member Unions and the IRB Selectors. All of the officials have proven themselves at elite club level and are ready to take the next steps in a high intensity tournament format.

Working with IRB Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien and a team of IRB Selectors each of the match officials will have access to a dedicated performance management environment that will promote consistency and raise performance levels.

O’Brien said: “Officiating at a IRB Junior World Championship provides the panel with exposure to a high-level development environment that mixes an intense schedule of matches with a dedicated coaching and performance management platform.”

Key focus areas for the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 panel include zero tolerance on foul play, including high tackles, delivering consistency in the five Key Refereeing areas including compliance at the scrum and the strict enforcement of the offside Laws ensuring that players have the space to attack.

“Over the next two and a half weeks we will work closely with each match official to raise standards and ingrain a level of consistency that will lay the foundations for the progression of their respective careers,” continued O’Brien.

“This environment has proven successful in delivering Test referees with New Zealand’s Chris Pollock, France’s Jérôme Garces and Carlo Damasco of Italy all selected as Assistant Referees at Rugby World Cup 2011."

“We certainly hope to see members of this group selected for Rugby World 2015 in England – that is the target.”

The IRB Junior World Championship is also designed to deliver a Refereeing impact for the Host Union. A key feature of the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 Legacy Programme is the hosting of a Match Official workshop where Italian Match Officials and Referee Managers can benefit from access to IRB training and education programmes.

The Match Official appointments for the opening round of matches on Friday, June 10, have now been announced with the Referees coming from six different nations – South Africa, Wales, Ireland, France, England and Scotland.

Jaco Peyper of South Africa has the honour of refereeing the mouth-watering encounter between England and Ireland at the Stadio Communale di Monigo in Treviso, with Welshman Leighton Hodges in charge of the match between hosts Italy and defending champions New Zealand at the same venue.

Ireland’s John Lacey will be the man in the middle for the other Pool A match between Argentina and Wales at Stadio Plebiscito in Padova, before Mathieu Raynal of France takes charge of South Africa v Scotland.

The day’s final matches at the Stadio Mario Battaglini in Rovigo – the Pool B matches between Australia and Tonga and France v Fiji – will be referred by JP Doyle of England adn Scotland’s Neil Paterson respectively.