irbsevens.com and James Mortimer 18.Jul.2013Getty Images
The IRB called for Union nominations in April and, from those nominations, appointments of highly-experienced selectors were made, underlining the IRB’s commitment to driving forward best practice for an expanding number of Sevens events including the HSBC Sevens World Series, IRB Women's Sevens World Series and regional tournaments.
In men's Rugby Sevens, Patrick McNally has been appointed in the Northern hemisphere, while Vinny Munro will operate in the south. McNally is National Sevens referee manager in the USA and has been a USA Sevens performance reviewer, while New Zealander Munro is a former international referee and Sevens performance reviewer.
In the women's Game, Scotland referee development officer Bob Easton takes the position in the North, while Banks Yantolo advises on selection in the Southern hemisphere, with experience in South Africa as both a Sevens performance reviewer and referee coach.
IRB Sevens Referee Manager, Paddy O'Brien, commented: “I’m delighted with the calibre of personnel we’ve been able to appoint to these key positions. All of these people have lots of experience and also a real passion for the game of Sevens.”
“As an Olympic sport, Rugby Sevens is growing in profile around the world. The quality of athlete playing the game is improving all the time, along with the skills, speed and overall professionalism of the players and coaching staff. To keep pace with that, it is hugely important that we prepare and manage our elite Sevens referees as well as we can, and also scout and appoint the best match officials out there.
“The demands on referees at the top end of Sevens are very high in terms of pace, fitness and decision-making in intense environments and I look forward to working with this panel of selectors to ensure we get the best men and women out there in charge of these matches and tournaments.”
From the start of the 2013/14 season one of the selectors will be present alongside the Referee Manager at each of the HSBC Sevens World Series and IRB Women's Sevens World Series tournaments.