The International Rugby Board has named the nine referees that will officiate at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013.
The annual Under 20 tournament will take place this year in Antofagasta, Chile.
The selections underline the IRB's commitment to providing the best officials for tournaments, and expanding the talent pool of referees in the Game. Eight out of the nine referees for this year's tournament are graduates of the IRB Talent Optimisation Programme (TOP) and came through the established IRB pathway programme for match officials.
This means that they have completed their basic referee education in their respective countries before taking part in a regional Level 3 programme. Officials are then selected to attend TOP, which is managed out of Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
IRB High Performance Match Official Manager Joel Jutge said:“The IRB and its Member Unions invest considerable resources in developing the next generation of international match officials. The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy provides a key platform for leading match officials from across the world to test themselves at elite tournament level."
"Along with the IRB Junior World Championship - our key age grade tournament - our tournaments ensures that important preparation, training and education processes are delivered to the world’s leading up-and-coming referees, so that the officiating future of the Game is in safe hands."
Four of the referees selected for IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 come from South America, include Chile's Felipe Balbontin and Uruguay's Joaquín Montes, who will referee at his second Trophy, having been included at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2011 in Georgia, where he was in charge for the final. They will be joined by Argentina's Juan Sylvestre and Brazil's Henrique Platis.
The panel is completed by Elia Rizzo (Italy), Taka Otsuki (Japan), Bryan Arciero (Canada), Alexei Bryzgalin (Russia) and Kelekolio Petelo (Samoa).
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The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy takes place at the Circuito Deportivo Ciudad de Antofagasta, from May 28 to June 9. The winner will qualify for the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 which will be held in New Zealand.
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