Cape Town - Craig Joubert has made
the cut with three fellow South Africans for the team of 12 match officials
selected for the 2015/16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, World Rugby announced
Joubert will link up
with Ben Crouse, Rasta Rasivhenge and Marius van der Westhuizen and eight new
colleagues following the completion of Rugby World Cup 2015 and before the
opening round in Dubai. He will remain available for 15-a-side duty throughout
Rasivhenge is also among
the 10 officials who have been selected for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s
Sevens Series, which will also kick off in the United Arab Emirates.
The desire from the
world’s top 15s referees to be a part of the match officials’ team, heightens
the already tough competition for places as excitement builds in anticipation
of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It is exciting for the
sevens referee team that a high-profile referee such as Craig Joubert has made
himself available to try to referee his way into the Olympics,” said World
Rugby Council member and match official selector John Jeffery.
“We all know he is an
outstanding 15s referee, and having started his career in sevens, we are
delighted he will be able to bring his experience and expertise into the sevens
Joubert, who will
referee France v Italy in his first RWC 2015 match on September 19, said: “I’m
really excited by the opportunity to again referee on the World Rugby Sevens
series. My dream is, through on-field performances, to put myself in a position
to be considered for selection to referee at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“Sevens rugby has progressed significantly since I refereed on the series
from 2003 to 2005 and I know that the first step is to prove myself again on
field as a capable sevens referee. I’ll be joining a very experienced and close
group of officials on the circuit who I’m really looking forward to learning
from and ultimately proving myself to them as a valuable team mate and
colleague on this exciting journey for all of us.”
The men’s referee
Richard Kelly (NZRU), Matt O’Brien (ARU), Marius van der Westhuizen
(SARU), Federico Anselmi (UAR), Craig Joubert (SARU), Alex Ruiz (FFR), Nick
Briant (NZRU), Mike Adamson (SRU), Ben Crouse (SARU), Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU),
Anthony Moyes (ARU), Taku Otsuki (JPN)
referee panel is:
Leah Berard (USA), Alhambra Nievas (ESP), Sara Cox (RFU),
Gabriel Lee (HKRFU), Jess Beard (NZRU), Amy Perrett (ARU), Beatrice Benvenuti
(ITA), Rose LaBreche (CAN), James Bolabiu (FIJI), Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU).
The men’s HSBC World
Rugby Sevens Series has been extended to 10 stops for the 2015/16 series, with
Cape Town, Sydney, Singapore, Vancouver and Paris new additions to the circuit.
Dates for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series will be announced in due