Men's Eagles Sevens complete Level 1 Rugby Referee Certification Course

"It is our hope that this expanded knowledge of the principles and art of refereeing will make them better players."

Fourteen members of the Men’s Eagles Sevens, as well as Assistant Coach Chris Brown, participated in a USA Rugby Level 1 Rugby Referee Certification Course at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., Oct. 1.

Mark Aitkenhead led the course, which focused on preparation for matches, the importance of safety, and refereeing both set pieces and open play.

With the Eagles set to begin the 2014-15 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series – during which they can qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games – Saturday at Gold Coast Sevens, Brown and USA Rugby National Sevens Director Alex Magleby felt it was important to give the team an opportunity to see the game from the match official’s eyes.

“The purpose of the course was to cover the basics of refereeing rugby, improve the players’ decision-making as it relates to their recognition of what is within the law and what is not, and expose them to the perspective of the referee,” Sevens Referee Manager Patrick McNally said. “The day was fun and informative.”

“Taking the Men’s Eagles Sevens presented a unique challenge for us as referee educators,” Aitkenhead said. “Put simply, the game knowledge and ability of these athletes is far higher than that of our regular beginning referees. It was clear in the practical sessions that the national team members quickly grasped the basic concepts and demonstrated some great refereeing skills.

“It is our hope that this expanded knowledge of the principles and art of refereeing will make them better players, perhaps giving them a slight advantage over their competition on the IRB Sevens circuit.”

The Eagles in attendance included a few who are currently in Australia preparing for the first stop of the Series, like Garrett Bender, Andrew Durutalo, Carlin Isles, Folau Niua, and Zack Test. They were also invited to referee youth matches to put into action that which they had learned in the Level 1 Rugby Referee Certification Course.

Learn more about USA Rugby's Referee Education courses here.

Men's Eagles Sevens | USA Rugby Level 1 Referee Certification Course
Perry Baker
Garrett Bender
Andrew Durutalo
Will Holder
Carlin Isles
Ben Leatigaga
Andrew Locke
Folau Niua
Nu'u Punimata
Pila Taufa
Zack Test
Stephen Tomasin
Chris Turori
Michael Ziegler