Kevin White, a 31-year-old financial administrator in Edinburgh, will lead the contingent of Scottish referees at the Rugby World Cup 7s in Moscow in June.
White, who took up refereeing in Durban, South Africa, hails from a Scottish family and joined the Caledonia Referees’ Society when he moved to link up with his brother, Trevor, in Inverness in 2009.
A career move to Infrastructure Managers Limited in the capital, saw him join the Edinburgh Society and, at the end of last season, he was selected to referee at the European qualifying tournament for the Rugby World Cup 7s in the Algarve in Portugal.
This season, White went on to be nominated to officiate at the HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Hong Kong and Tokyo, handling the Bowl final between England and Argentina at the latter.
Asked to identify his refereeing highlights to date, he said: “My debut in Portugal and definitely Hong Kong. The crowd there was fantastic. Hong Kong and my HSBC Sevens World Series debut was about achieving a dream that I’d been hoping and wishing for since I started refereeing.”
The challenges facing players in the abbreviated game compared to the XV-a-side version have been well documented. What about for referees? “Fitness is the key and you have to have a strong, determined attitude – willing to make the sacrifices to get there,” he added.
White cites the support he has received from Scottish Rugby and the local referee societies as instrumental and now cannot wait to officiate at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s at Scotstoun Stadium on 4 and 5 May, the Twickenham leg of the World Series the following weekend; and the RWC 7s in Moscow from June 28-30.
There he will be joined by assistant referees Bob Nevins (Berwick), Adrian Graves (Edinburgh Society) and sub controller Bob Easton from the Midlands Society.
In addition, Alex Pratt, one of Scotland’s women referees, will act as an assistant referee in the Women’s Rugby World Cup 7s competition.
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Match Officials, Roy McCombe, said: “There’s much good work going on at present to raise the refereeing standard in Scotland.
“Congratulations to Kevin and the other Scots involved in Moscow. I’m also delighted that Lloyd Linton, one of our High Performance referees, a student doctor at Aberdeen University, will control his first RaboDirect PRO12 match this weekend when he’s in charge at the Cardiff v Zebre match in Wales.”