Source: Karl Bridgeman - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Rugby sevens match officials unveiled for Olympic Games Paris 2024

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World Rugby has announced the squad of 23 match officials that will take charge of the men’s and women’s rugby sevens competitions at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in France from 24-30 July.

The squad features match officials from 16 countries – including the first referee from Germany to appear in an Olympic rugby sevens competition in Maria Latos – with all six of World Rugby’s regional associations represented.

Five officials will attend their second Olympic Games in Paulo Duarte (Portugal), Francisco González (Uruguay), Tyler Miller (Australia), Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji) and Jordan Way (Australia), while Jérémy Rozier (France) was selected for Tokyo but had to withdraw a month before the tournament due to an ACL injury. Duarte refereed in both the men’s and women’s competitions in Tokyo while Rokovereni officiated in the women’s event, but both have been selected for the men’s tournament in Paris.

While Rozier is the only French official selected to referee at a home Olympic Games, Paris 2024 will mark a return to France for Way, who was an assistant referee for the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023, including for one match at Stade de France.

Ano Kuwai (Japan), meanwhile, will create history as the first to both play and referee at a Games, having been part of the Sakura Sevens team at Rio 2016 when rugby sevens made its Olympic debut some 92 years after rugby (15s) had last been on the programme. Kuwai was the scorer of Japan’s first-ever Olympic try in their 26-10 pool defeat to hosts Brazil.

Kuwai is one of six females selected on the women’s panel, all of whom have refereed international rugby, including Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand) and Kat Roche (USA) who took charge of matches in this year’s Women’s Six Nations and Miller, who made her test debut in the World Rugby Pacific Four Series last month.

The officials were selected following a comprehensive review of performances across the HSBC SVNS 2024 series.

The full match official squad for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 is:

Men’s tournament:

Ben Breakspear (Wales, Great Britain)
Paulo Duarte (Portugal)
Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Francisco González (Uruguay)
Nick Hogan (New Zealand)
AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Reuben Keane (Australia)
Adam Leal (England, Great Britain)
Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji)
Jérémy Rozier (France)
Morné Ferreira (South Africa)
Jordan Way (Australia)

Women’s tournament:

Finlay Brown (Scotland, Great Britain)
Craig Chan (Hong Kong China)
Talal Chaudhry (Canada)
Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand)
Ano Kuwai (Japan)
Maria Latos (Germany)
Cisco Lopez (USA)
Tyler Miller (Australia)
Lavenia Rawaca (Fiji)
Kat Roche (USA)
George Selwood (England, Great Britain)

World Rugby High Performance Sevens Referee Manager Paddy O’Brien said: “I am very excited to be managing a hugely experienced and talented group of match officials to Paris 2024.

“To have so many countries represented as well as knowing every region is involved gives our management team a huge amount of satisfaction and is testament to the pathways we have had in place over the past four years.

“All those selected have worked extremely hard to ensure that when we arrive in Paris, we will have officials able to referee and officiate to the level required for such a special event.”

Ano Kuwai said: “It was special to be in the Olympic Games as a player and now I cannot wait to go Paris as a referee.”

Jérémy Rozier said: “It is very special for me to be involved in an Olympic Games, it’s a dream for players and referees. I’m especially pleased as I had to miss Tokyo due to an ACL injury after being selected, so coming back from this disappointment, training hard to be fit and take this chance to be in Paris. It will be an amazing tournament for me at home in Paris where I live, with all my family there.

“I’m very happy to be selected as part of the 23 strong Olympic match official squad. We come from every continent of the world and have been building for the last three years since Tokyo to be prepared for the Olympics and be as excellent as we can be on the field to allow the players to play as they want and let the game flow.”

The men’s competition will take place from 24-27 July, kicking off the Olympic Games Paris 2024 along with football two days before the Opening Ceremony, with the women’s competition following from 28-30 July. All the action will take place at Stade de France, the venue for the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 final last October.

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