Tokyo 2020 rugby sevens match officials include two from Asia

Noriaki Hashimoto of Japan. © Asia Rugby
Noriaki Hashimoto of Japan. © Asia Rugby

Tokyo, Japan, April 20, 2021: World Rugby has announced a list of 22 match officials from 12 countries for the women’s and men’s rugby sevens competitions at Tokyo 2020.

Asia Rugby reports that Matt Rodden from the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and Noriaki Hashimoto (Japan RFU) will officiate at the Olympics for the first time in the men’s tournament, with Hashimoto selected as an assistant referee.

The individuals were chosen by World Rugby’s Match Official Selection Committee following a comprehensive review of performances and fitness. All selected referees have proven themselves on the annual HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and many also featured at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

To ensure the teams and referees are as well prepared as possible for the Olympic Games, and thanks to support from the IOC, World Rugby is investing US$4 million into Olympic-qualified unions’ sevens programmes and towards the costs of hosting a number of high-performance preparation events.

Australia and Fiji are reigning women’s and men’s Olympic champions respectively following their victories in Rio.

The men’s competition will take place from July 26-28, with the women’s tournament following on July 29-31.