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Asian Refs Camp & Panels

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Top World Rugby referee Craig Joubert made time to address Asia Rugby’s panel referees and coaches of match officials at the 2017 Referees’ Camp.

The camp was held this year in Hong Kong over the weekend of 1 April 2017.

Some 20 referees (both men and women) and coaches from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore attended the camp which is held annually prior to the start of one of our prestigious tournaments in order to get the key match officials together and agree the way forward.

This year the camp took place before the start of our Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) which kicks off on Saturday 22 April with the first game in ARC 2017, Korea vs Japan, in Incheon, Korea.

One interesting development this year is the plan to use a TMO (Television Match Official) in our Asia Rugby Championship (technology permitting). If successful it may be possible to make further use of TMO for the Asia Rugby Sevens Series later in the year.

The camp, organised by our referee advisor, Alan Whitcombe, covered such topics as, ‘the Best We Can Be’; Consistency in the Game; Decision Making; the ‘Big Five’; World Rugby Referees’ profile; the pathway to the highest stage; and the latest trends in the Game. A lot of lively debate took place around clips from the World Rugby conference at Lensbury.

Asia Rugby also seized the opportunity to congratulate Tim Baker (Hong Kong) on the announcement of his appointment as one of the World Rugby referees to officiate at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin.

Thanks were also extended to World Rugby who kindly arranged for Craig Joubert, who has recently been appointed as World Rugby referee talent development coach, to come into Hong Kong early ahead of the Hong Kong 7s to brief the match officials on World Rugby matters and the way ahead.

In the afternoon session Craig took the group through World Rugby’s key priorities and the ‘Agreed Guidelines’. Speaking after the meeting Craig said, “I am really enjoying getting out to the developing rugby nations around the globe and spreading the World Rugby refereeing ‘Key Focus Areas’ to try and help ensure that referees around the world are aligned with top international best practice.”

The camp was very well received by all who attended. Eunice Tay from Singapore stated that “it was great to engage in the practical sessions where we could all comment on decisions and understand the reason for them.” And experienced Japanese referee Taku Otsuki: commented “This was a great opportunity for us to get together before the competition and agree how we are going to referee the games.”

Asia Rugby’s General Manager, Ross Mitchell, who attended the camp added: "These camps are very important for our match officials to make sure that we are all hearing the same message and doing the same thing. We in Asia Rugby want to try and ensure that we deliver the best product we can and it is everybody’s responsibility to do just that: the match officials, players, coaches, and all the other key stake holders.”

A similar camp for Asia Rugby’s Citing Commissioners and Judicial Officers is planned for later in the year.

Asia Rugby also announced the Referees Panels for 2017.

Panel A
Hong Kong:
Gabriel Lee, Lawrence Wilkinson, Matt Rodden, Patrick Kwok, Stephen Copeman, Tim Baker
Japan: Taku Otsuki, Akihisa Aso, Noriaki Hashimoto, Suguru Kamamuta, Sakurako Kawasaki, Shuei Kubo,

Panel B
Wu Zhihon
Japan: Teruhisa Kajiwara, Tasuku Kawahara, Mayumi Takahashi
Korea: Seo Insoo
Singapore: Charlie Brown, Eunice Tay - Singapore
United Arab Emirates: Stuart Hawkins, Tony Duminy, Maurice Butler, Norman Drake

Panel C
Congxiao Wang (Mary), Hong Zhe, Xiaojing Xu (Phoenix), Xing Bing
Hong Kong: Doris Chow, Harry Parsons, Steven Yuen
India: Sourojit Ghosh
Japan: Tomohiro Kuwanao, Tomoyuki Matsugu, Ai Yoshida
Korea: Lee Kidon
Philippines: Jovan Masalunga
Singapore: Darroch Chua, Abdul Hannan
Thailand:  Bandit Pamja-ngampatana, Nattapong Wangcharoensap
United Arab Emirates: Ant Gomaneke, Adrienne Speedy

Sent by Matthew Oakley
Strategy & Development Advisor
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