Two South African match officials, Rasta Rasivhenge and Ben Crouse, were named on the refereeing panel for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, to be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco in July this this year.
The group of 19 match officials from 14 nations will take charge of a total of 84 matches during the three day event, from 20-22 July, in what promises to be spectacular and ground-breaking men’s and women’s tournaments, World Rugby announced on Monday, with less than a hundred days to go before the first kick-off.
“This is a wonderful achievement for Rasta and Ben and we are extremely proud of them being selected to the final panel,” said Banks Yantolo, SA Rugby’s Referee Manager.
“Both have done very well on the sevens fields of the world and this is a well-deserved call-up to them.”
Rasivhenge refereed the men’s gold medal match at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and will join Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales), Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Damon Murphy (Australia), Jeremy Rozier (France), Matt Rodden (Hong Kong), Richard Haughton (England), Damian Schneider (Argentina) and Mike O’Brien (USA) in the 52 match men’s competition, which will feature 24 teams.
Crouse is part of the 16-team women’s event, and will share the duties in the 32 matches with Alhambra Nievas (Spain), Joy Neville (Ireland), Sara Cox (England), Adam Jones (Wales), Sakurako Kawasaki (Japan), Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Rebecca Mahoney (New Zealand) and Beatrice Benvenuti (Italy).
The team of match officials comprise seven women, including Neville who was honoured as Referee of the Year at the World Rugby Awards in November 2017.
The event is capturing the public’s imagination with over 60,000 tickets already sold and an innovative competition format meaning every match counts. The match schedule will be announced soon and fans are urged to snap up their tickets as soon as possible. Three-day passes (there is also a ticket exchange mechanism) can be purchased or fans can buy via the official domestic and international supporter tour programmes.