Match officials announced for JWRT 2010

(IRB.COM) Friday 15 January 2010
 Match officials announced for JWRT 2010
Canada and Italy are two of the participating nations to also have a match official selected for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2010

Twelve match officials, including two from Russia, have been named in the match official panel for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2010 to be held in Moscow from May 18-30.

The panel selected for the key international age grade tournament comprises a blend of match officials from 11 Member Unions with international experience coming in the form of Canada's Bryan Arciero, who was an assistant referee for the USA v Uruguay Rugby World Cup Qualifier in November, and Japan's Akihisa Aso, an official at last year's IRB Junior World Championship and now on the IRB Sevens World Series panel.

Another highlight is the selection of Marcin Zeszutek, the first referee from Poland to be selected in an IRB panel.

The panel is: Mauro Rivera (Argentina), Bryan Arciero (Canada), Naipolione Locoloco (Fiji), Gia Amirkhanashvili (Georgia), Marius Mitrea (Italy), Akihisa Aso (Japan), Andrew Karani (Kenya), Marcin Zeszutek (Poland), Joao Mourinha (Portugal), Igor Nikolaichuk and Vladimir Volovik (Russia) and Aruna Ranaweera (USA).

"The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy provides a key development platform for participating Unions and for match officials and the group of referees and assistant referees selected for the tournament in Russia will benefit from exposure to a best-practice environment that will further their development along the pathway to international officiating," said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O'Brien.

"From an officiating perspective, the aim of the 2010 tournament is to identify and develop talent that has the potential to take the next step up the international ladder. This group of match officials will benefit from working in an environment that through education, training and assessment hones skills and promotes excellence which will assist their future refereeing careers."

"The IRB and its Member Unions invest considerable resources in developing the next generation of international match officials with tournaments including the IRB Junior World Championship and IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy essential in the development pathway of many senior officials," added O'Brien.

The selection of two referees from Russia underlines both the rising talent pool within the country and the IRB's commitment to leaving a lasting legacy within the nation. A key element of the dedicated tournament legacy programme will be the hosting of a special match official workshop where domestic match officials and referee managers can benefit from access to training and education programmes.

The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2010 is the first IRB fifteen-a-side tournament to be hosted in Russia and comes at a time when Rugby is enjoying unprecedented interest within the country. The Union is one of three nations to have expressed their formal intention to tender to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, with the men's senior national team still on track to qualify for a first ever Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand.