Three NZ refs to whistle at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013

Getty Images     12 Apr 2013     Getty Images

New Zealand Rugby today congratulated Jessica Beard, Chelsea Gurr and James McPhail who have been selected by the IRB to officiate at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 which takes place in Moscow in late June.

The IRB today named 17 officials to preside over the 100 matches of the Cup.

"We're really proud that three of the 17 officials chosen are New Zealanders which underlines our success in developing our people in this area," said New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen.

"Jessica, Chelsea and James have certainly put in the hard yards so Moscow is a great reward for them.

"I know Chelsea and Jessica stood out while officiating at the fringe tournaments which took place alongside the Dubai Sevens last year so to now go to Moscow for this important tournament is a fantastic achievement so early in their careers."

This year 21 year old Beard has officiated at both legs of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Houston and Guangzhou this year after making her first class debut only last September. 26 year old Gurr started her first class career in July 2011, making her international debut at Guangzhou last month.

James McPhail, 27, is a very experienced Wellington based referee with 18 IRB Sevens World Series tournaments under his belt in his second season on the circuit. He will also officiate at the two remaining tournaments in Glasgow and London.

"I am sure all three will gain tremendously in terms of their professional development and I wish them all the best."

Rugby World Cup Sevens takes place 28-30 June with 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams participating in what will be the last pinnacle event for the sevens game before it makes its debut at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The officials panel was chosen by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, chaired by John Jeffrey.

Jeffrey said: "The panel contains a blend of the very best men's and women's international referees who have proven themselves in the challenging HSBC Sevens World Series and IRB Women's Sevens World Series. All are included on merit.

Six New Zealand referees to officiate at 2013 IRB matches
Sorensen also congratulated the six New Zealand referees who will referee a range of international IRB matches this year.

"These appointments are also great news for New Zealand referees and underline the depth of talent we have in this important area."

The appointments are:

• Chris Pollock - Argentina v England and the first Test Australia v British & Irish Lions, plus Assistant Referee on the other Tests
• Glen Jackson - two Lions tour matches against Australian Super Rugby Franchises and Assistant Referee on other matches
• Garratt Williamson - Test Match in Fiji as part of Pacific Nations Championship and two Assistant Referee roles
• Jono White - two Pacific Nations Championship Tests in Japan
• Mike Fraser - IRB Junior World Championship in France
• Nick Briant - two Tests in Nations Cup in Europe