Women Named for Rugby Sevens Olympic Debut this Summer
World Rugby has announced the match officials that will take charge when rugby returns to the Olympic Games this year. Rugby will be played for the first time in 92 years at the Games when the women’s competition kicks off in the Deodoro Stadium in Rio on 6 August. A panel of 12 men and 12 women will oversee the matches over the six days, with all officials coming from the World Rugby Sevens Series.
| England’s Sara Cox (pictured) is one of three female full-time referees at this year’s games and was the first professional to join the Rugby Football Union (RFU) official’s team in 2015.
Australian referee Amy Perrett, who battled back from injury to be included on the women’s panel, said: “The Olympic Games are incredibly special, something you dream about as a kid but never think you could actually get there. To be representing my country at the biggest sporting event in the world, and to be in the same arena as some of the greatest athletes of our generation, is such a great honor and a privilege.”
| South African, Rasta Rasivhenge, will referee women’s and men’s matches in Rio
The announcement of the officials was made after a thrilling weekend of sevens action, where Australia claimed the spoils at round three of the women’s series in Atlanta, USA.
South African, Rasta Rasivhenge, who will referee men’s and women’s matches in Rio, said: “It’s a dream come true for me, something I have always dreamed of being a part of, as this is the biggest stage of all when it comes to competitive sport. It’s a life-changing opportunity and an experience that will start a new era in my refereeing career.”
| Olympic competition takes place August 6-8
Spain’s Alhambra Nievas said: “It is a dream come true as I’ve always wished to be part of the Olympic Games. It is a great opportunity for all of us on the panel and now our goal as a team is to arrive in the best condition so we can contribute to a successful and amazing tournament in Rio, and show the world the unique essence of our sport.”
2016 Rio Olympic Games Referees
- Aimee Barrett (RSA)
- Jess Beard (NZL)
- Beatrice Benvenuti (ITA)
- Sara Cox (ENG)
- Sakaruko Kawasaki (JPN)
- Rose LaBreche (CAN)
- Gabriel Lee (HGK)
- Alhambra Nievas (ESP)
- Amy Perrett (AUS)
- Alex Pratt (SCO)
- Rasta Rasivhenge (RSA)
Source: World Rugby