In another innovative advance for the sevens game, the IRB has appointed Sevens Referee Selectors in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres for the men's and women's games.
The IRB called for Union nominations in April and, from those nominations, appointments of highly-experienced selectors were made underscoring the IRB’s commitment to driving forward best practice for their expanding portfolio of sevens events including the HSBC Sevens World Series, IRB Women's Sevens World Series and regional tournaments.
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.
Easton said: “Initially the IRB asked for nominations and my name was put forward for the XVs game, but then I got the call asking if I wanted to take up the sevens role. I was delighted to accept.
“I will attend the Women’s Northern hemisphere World Series events, doing performance reviews, coaching the female referees and selecting who will referee finals. I’m looking forward to finding out where the first trip will be.
“This is something new and quite different for me so I’m excited to be getting involved with the opportunity and getting started.”
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.
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.