Top World Rugby referee Craig Joubert kindly made time to address Asia Rugby’s panel referees and coaches of match officials (CMO’s) appointed to this year’s Asia Rugby Championship (ARC), who attended the 2017 Referees’ Camp, held this year in Hong Kong over the weekend of 1st April
Some 20 referees (both men and women) and CMO’s, from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore attended the camp which is held annually prior to the start of one of our prestigious tournaments in order to get the key match officials together and agree the way forward.
This year the camp took place before the start of our Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) which kicks off on Saturday 22nd April with the first game in ARC 2017, Korea v Japan, in Seoul, Korea.
One interesting development this year is the plan to use a TMO (Third Match Official) in our ARC (technology permitting). If successful it may be possible to make further use of TMO for the Asia Rugby Sevens Series, later in the year.
The camp, organised by our Referee Advisor, Alan Whitcombe, covered such topics as, ‘the Best We Can Be’; Consistency in the Game; Decision Making; the ‘Big Five’; World Rugby Referees’ profile; the pathway to the highest stage; and the latest trends in the Game. A lot of lively debate took place around clips from the World Rugby ‘Lensbury’ conference.
Asia Rugby also seized the opportunity to congratulate Tim Baker (HKRU) on the announcement of his appointment as one of the World Rugby referees to officiate at this year’s Women’s RWC in Dublin.
Thanks were also extended to World Rugby who kindly arranged for Craig Joubert, who has recently been appointed as World Rugby Referee Talent Development Coach, to come into Hong Kong early ahead of the Hong Kong 7’s to brief the match officials on World Rugby matters and the way ahead.
In the afternoon session Craig took the group through World Rugby’s key priorities and the ‘Agreed Guidelines’. Speaking after the meeting Craig said, “I am really enjoying getting out to the developing rugby nations around the globe and spreading the WR refereeing ‘Key Focus Areas’ to try and help ensure that referees around the world are aligned with top international best practice.”
The camp was very well received by all who attended. Eunice Tay from Singapore stated that “it was great to engage in the practical sessions where we could all comment on decisions and understand the reason for them.” And experienced Japanese referee Taku Otsuki commented “This was a great opportunity for us to get together before the competition and agree how we are going to referee the games.”
Asia Rugby’s General Manager, Ross Mitchell, who attended the camp added, “these camps are very important for our match officials to make sure that we are all hearing the same message and doing the same thing. We in Asia Rugby want to try and ensure that we deliver the best product we can and it is everybody’s responsibility to do just that: the match officials; players; coaches; and all the other key stake holders.”
A similar camp for Asia Rugby’s Citing Commissioners and Judicial Officers is planned for later in the year.
Asia Rugby also announced the Referee Panels for 2017, which can be found here LINK