U19 World Championship Match Officials
January 25, 2007

The International Rugby Board (IRB) today announced the appointment of match officials for the 2007 IRB Under 19 World Championship.

A panel of 14 referees and four touch judges has been selected for the Tournament which takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland from April 4-21.

Included in the panel of up and coming referees is Sarah Corrigan. The Australian, who refereed the bronze medal final at last year's Women's Rugby World Cup, will become the first woman to officiate at an IRB Tournament outside of Women's Rugby World Cup when she takes charge of her first match in Belfast.

"Sarah Corrigan displayed great maturity in her performances at last year's Women's Rugby World Cup in Canada and the IRB Referee Selection Committee felt that she thoroughly deserved a place within what is a panel of very promising referees," said IRB Referee Manager Paddy O'Brien.

"The IRB Under 19 World Championship represents a fantastic opportunity for the best young players to showcase their talents on the international stage, and the same can certainly be said for the match officials."

"The Tournament plays a pivotal role in match official development in terms of preparation for the Test arena. Indeed the panel will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Peter Fitzgibbon, Andrew McPherson and Frederico Cuesta who have advanced to referee Test matches on the back of their performances at last year's IRB Under 19 World Championship."

"It is also important to note that 14 Unions are represented within the panel, including referees from Fiji, Portugal and Samoa, reflecting the global growth of match official training and education," added O'Brien.

Individual match appointments for the opening rounds of the Tournament will be made when the Match Officials arrive in Belfast at the end of March. Each referee will officiate a minimum of two matches in the early stages of the Tournament with performances being assessed before appointments for the subsequent rounds are made.

The IRB has also announced the final two Division B teams to be confirmed through the qualification process. Cook Islands defeated Papa New Guinea 22-21 in Australia on Saturday to book a place in Pool C, while Chinese Tapei will join Tonga and Chile in Pool B after winning the recent Asian qualifying tournament.

IRB Under 19 World Championship 2007 Match Official Panel

Referee Panel

David Keane (Ireland)

Neil Paterson (Scotland)

James Jones (Wales)

Dean Richards (England)

Jerome Garces (France)

Alan Falzone (Italy)

Matt Stanish (New Zealand)

Julian Pritchard (Australia)

Phillip Bosch (South Africa)

Joao Mourinha (Portugal)

Phi Smith (Canada)

James Bolabiu (Fiji)

Javier Mancuso (Argentina)

Sarah Corrigan (Australia)

Touch Judge Panel *

Kyosuke Toda (Japan)

Laifaga Unasa (Samoa)

* Two further appointments to the Touch Judge Panel will be announced shortly.

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