Country refs in sevens heaven

NSW Country Rugby Referees Association (CRRA) is jumping on the rugby sevens bandwagon.

NSW CRRA nominated a referees’ coach, and two referees for the Central Coast sevens in October and has been asked to do the same for the inaugural Darwin 7s, held over the Australia Day weekend.

Orange based NSW Country Rugby Union Referees selection and coaching panel chairman Ian Richardson acted as referees’ coach at the Central Coast sevens and will do the same in Darwin, while Coolah’s Kath Little and New England’s Evelyn George will officiate at the event.

“Kath also refereed on the Central Coast,” Richardson explained.

“For Darwin though, we decided to take a different angle with the nominations and include the two women.

“Mainly because the Australian Rugby Union is having a huge push to get as many female referees involved, with the target of sending them to the Rio [de Janeiro] Olympics in 2016.”

2016 will be the first times rugby sevens will feature in the Olympic Games, and Richardson said his ultimate goal would be to see both Little and George officiate in Rio.

Richardson said Darwin sevens is the chance of a lifetime, and expects both Little and George to do well.

“It’s big opportunity for us,” Richards explained.

“Both for us personally, but also to get country referees and central west referees on the map, and get as much publicity as we can. I think both Kath and Evelyn will do very well, they’ll be under pressure but they can both deal with that pretty well.”

“I think it is a second tier carnival as far as the ARU is concerned but they will still use it as a talent spotting event though, especially for the referees.”

The trio will take part in the Darwin 7s on January 25 and 26.

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