USA Rugby Referee Mike O’Brien Selected for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018

O'Brien is only the fourth referee to ever represent the United States in a World Cup event

  • USA referee Mike O'Brien appointed to rugby World Cup Sevens 2018
  • Fourth ever USA official to be selected for a World Cup event 

LAFAYETTE, CO. - For only the fourth time in history, a USA Rugby referee has been selected for a World Cup event. Mike O'Brien - currently a referee for the HSBC World Sevens Series - will serve during the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, World Rugby announced today. With the event itself being the first ever Rugby World Cup hosted by the United States, O'Brien's appointment provides another example of USA's growing footprint across all areas of the sport. Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will take place at AT&T Park in San Francisco July 20-22. Tickets are on sale now at

"To say that it's an honor to be selected is an incredible understatement," says O'Brien, thrilled about the upcoming opportunity. "It's amazing to get the chance to work with an elite group of referees at one of the biggest events in our game--for it to be a short hop away on American soil leaves me speechless."

Currently serving as an official for the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series, O'Brien's experience and approach to officiating have been well-respected in elite competitions for years. Earning six assignments out of 10 total tournament stops this season, O'Brien serves as an example of the many opportunities afforded to those who remain involved in rugby following their playing career.

As a rugby referee O'Brien has represented his country on the international stage from a unique perspective, traveling across the world to interact with rugby's greatest players and coaches, all whilst simultaneously serving as an ambassador for the growth of the sport in the U.S.

Now selected for the highly-anticipated Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco, O'Brien will join Leah Berard (2013 Sevens World Cup and 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup referee), Dana Teagarden (2006 and 2010 XVs World Cup referee, 2009 7s World Cup referee) and Don Reordan (1991 and 1995 XVs World Cup referee) as only the fourth USA official to be appointed to a World Cup event.

"Becoming a referee has exposed me to levels of the game I would have never seen otherwise. I tried, but I was never a great player or coach," says O'Brien.  "I've met people from diverse backgrounds while visiting parts of the nation and the world that would have been inaccessible had I chosen other means to stay involved."

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will be hosted at AT&T Park in San Francisco this July 20-22. Tickets to see Mike O'Brien in his Rugby World Cup officiating debut, along with all 40 women's and men's national teams, are available now at

For more information on how to represent the United States as a rugby referee, visit