Rodden appointed as match official for 2020 Series

Rodden appointed as match official for 2020 Series

26 August, 2019

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A team of 26 match officials from 15 nations, including Hong Kong-based Matt Rodden, has been announced for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 which commences in Glendale, Colorado on 5-6 October.

  • Hong Kong-based Matt Rodden is set to officiate in six tournaments
  • Women’s season commences in Glendale, Colorado on 5-6 October
  • Men’s season kicks off in Dubai, UAE on 5-7 December

This season is set to be the biggest on record with the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series increasing to eight rounds for the first time in history.

The men’s series will once again be contested across 10 rounds, kicking off in Dubai on 5-7 December, 2019, with six of those events being combined with women’s tournaments.

The 2020 season will culminate with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which will see rugby sevens make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme following its successful introduction at Rio 2016.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Rodden commenced his refereeing career in 2013 and in 2016 became the first Hong Kong-based referee to officiate the Sevens Series on a permanent basis.

As well as being a high performance referee for Hong Kong Rugby Union's Premiership League, Rodden is a Community Referee Manager for the Hong Kong Rugby Union, managing fixtures and the wider group of  community referees in Hong Kong, while also heading up the Junior Referee Development Program and Academy. 

Former Canada international Julianne Zussman joins the women’s series panel this season and will make her match officiating world series debut in the opening tournament in Glendale, Colorado.

Zussman represented her country in both 15s and sevens formats of the game, earning 44 test caps and featuring in three Rugby World Cups throughout her playing career.

Zussman joins an experienced panel of referees who have impressed on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series over a number of seasons.

The men’s panel features 12 officials who have featured on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the last three seasons with the addition of Uruguay’s Francisco Gonzalez who officiated in the Americas Rugby Championship in February this year.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan commented: “The standard of officiating across the entire HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continues to increase year-on-year which is extremely encouraging as we enter a pivotal season for rugby sevens.

“We have a very experienced unit of referees who have a wealth of experience officiating on the world series, which this year features more women’s events than ever before, before the season culminates with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“We would like to congratulate Julianne Zussman from Canada who has been selected for her first HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series; the selection committee is delighted with the quality of match officials available for selection for the men’s and women’s series panels and looks forward to another successful season of rugby sevens.”

Women’s Sevens Series Panel:
Sara Cox (England)
Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Emily Hsieh (USA)
Lauren Jenner (New Zealand)
Adam Jones (Wales)
Sakurako Kawasaki (Japan)
Tyler Miller (Australia)
Ashleigh Murray (South Africa)
Joy Neville (Ireland)
Amy Perrett (Australia)
Madeline Putz (Australia)
Tevita Rokoverneni (Fiji)
Julianne Zussman (Canada)

Men’s Sevens Series Panel:
James Doleman (New Zealand)
Paulo Duarte (Portugal)
Craig Evans (Wales)
Francisco Gonzalez (Uruguay)
Sam Grove White (Scotland)
Richard Haughton (England)
Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
Damon Murphy (Australia)
Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Matt Rodden (Hong Kong)
Jeremy Rozier (France)
Damian Schneider (Argentina)
Jordan Way (Australia)