Dublin – Ireland, Mar 26, 2013: The International Rugby Board has today named the match officials who will take charge at the IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) 2013 in France. Selected by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, nine referees will officiate at the Under 20 tournament which takes place this year 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, eight of the nine referees will take charge for the first time at an IRB Junior World Championship. Andrew McMenemy from Scotland refereed during the JWC 2008 in Wales.
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 at the JWC in the past.
IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joel Jutge 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,” said Jutge.
As part of the IRB strategy to further develop match officials across the world, this year’s JWC 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 the Rugby World Cup in 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.
The list of officials for the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 in France is: Mike Fraser (NZRU), Stuart Berry (SARU), Dudley Phillips (IRFU), Andrew Lees (ARU), Andrew McMenemy (SRU), Akihisa Aso (JRFU), Luke Pearce (RFU) Marius Mitrea (FIR) and Ian Davies (WRU). The television match officials are: Eric Gauzins (FIR) and Graham Hughes (WRU).
Of those on the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 match official panel only Mathieu Raynal will not be refereeing a Test match during this June’s international window, due to injury.
The IRB Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by IRB Council Member for Scorland John Jeffrey, comprises former elite referees Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Tappe Henning (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (European Rugby Cup) and Clayton Thomas (6 Nations) and IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joel Jutge.
The committee meets four times a year and makes selections for the next international window with all performances reviewed in advance of selection. —- IRB