The International Rugby Board has today named the match officials who will take charge at the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 in France.
Selected by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, nine referees will officiate at the Under 20 tournament which takes place from June 5-23 in Nantes, Vannes and La Roche-sur-Yon in north-west France.
In keeping with the IRB strategy to expand and develop the talent pool of officials, many of the panel will attend a Junior World Championship for the first time, while three of them have acted as assistant referees in a previous edition.
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The key developmental tournament, which has so far provided the springboard for 196 players to graduate to international Test level, also provides a similar role for aspiring Test referees. Romain Poite, Chris Pollock, Jérôme Garcès and Greg Garner are just some of the established whistle-blowers that have officiated on the JWC stage in the past.
IRB Match Official Selection Committee Chairman John Jeffrey believes it's a great opportunity for referees.
"The IRB Junior World Championship is an important part of our process to develop referees and the great thing is that four referee selectors are in camp with the match officials for the duration of the tournament,” he said.
“So they are coaching them, they are developing them, they are getting feedback and it's a huge development tool. It is just a great way of developing the next generation of elite level referees."
As part of the IRB strategy to further develop match officials across the world, JWC 2013 will see no Union have more than one representative on the panel.
The IRB Junior World Championship is part of a process to ensure the highest quality referees are in place for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, as it gives officials the perfect environment to learn from each other as a group, focus on continual coaching, assessment and mentoring to ensure the best-possible standards of consistency and performance.
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