LAFAYETTE – World Rugby has announced the referee assignments for the upcoming 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and USA Rugby’s Mike O’Brien is an integral part of the referee team. Gaining six assignments from 10 tournaments, O’Brien’s second year on the circuit looks to be his breakout.
“It is an incredible privilege to referee on the Series. Refereeing such exciting matches, coupled with the unique crowd atmosphere, makes the experience truly thrilling,” O’Brien said.
Assigned to events in Dubai, Cape Town, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore, O’Brien credits the quality of the USA Rugby Sevens Pathway and competitions with preparing him for the next level.
“We are lucky to have high quality sevens throughout the year with the Collegiate and Club Championships”, O’Brien added.
Debuting a new pathway for sevens referees in 2017, USA Rugby put unique focus around the sevens referee development and metric based progress. USA Rugby Sevens Referee Director Nick Ricono explains, “The referee pathway has afforded our referees a unique chance to calibrate across the country, develop our product, and excel on the field. There is a whole group of quality young, hungry referees coming through, many of which will be on display next week.”
O’Brien will be on duty at the Aug. 12-13 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship to finish out the domestic sevens season.
“The Club Sevens Championship is always such a dynamic tournament. Players are at their best and all are fighting to prove themselves and their club on a national stage,” noted O’Brien. “We have increased expectations on us as referees, but we are well-prepared and welcome that challenge.”