The senior match officials from all spectrums who will be involved in the forthcoming Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) between Hong Kong, Korea and Malaysia met in Hong Kong on 4 March for a pre-tournament camp. The 6 ARC matches this year are also 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers with the winner of the 3 team tournament moving on to the next round of RWC qualification on 30 June and 7 July.
Attendees had the benefit of a detailed presentation sent by World Rugby’s High Performance Match Officials Manager, Alain Rolland, who unfortunately could not attend in person at the last minute, because of the severe storm in northern Europe closing airports.
Asia Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Matsuo Yamada briefed attendees on latest World Rugby Player Welfare Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocols.
World Rugby Technical Match Official (TMO) protocols were discussed and its Athlete Management System (AMS) will also be used to assist review of Match Officials in this year’s ARC matches, which will all be televised.
Asia Rugby’s Match Officials Manager, Alan Whitcombe led Game and Law discussions and the Regional Association’s Game Management Guidelines document for the 15-a-side game will now be updated for the year ahead, taking into account the ‘simplified’ law book introduced by World Rugby for 2018.
“I have asked the match officials in these 6 matches to commit themselves to be the best they can be and consistently operate at their highest levels” said Yuichi Ueno, Chairman of the Asia Rugby Referees and Player Welfare Committees.
“This camp is very important to build cohesion and enables our referees and TMO’s with Super Rugby and Top League experience from Japan to share knowledge with and learn from their peers operating in Hong Kong’s professional player environment and with other officials from other unions involved in this year’s pinnacle event for our Regional Association.”
The Game Management Guidelines will now be disseminated to not only the 3 ARC participating unions, but to all of the Regional Association’s 31 member unions in a bid to assist the rugby family across Asia to improve consistency and quality in the primary form of the Game.