Match Official Updates - April 2021

April 16 2021


Julianne Zussman - Hometown Heroes Award
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Julianne Zussman Named as Olympic Rugby 7s Match Official: 12 Countries Represented



Congratulations to Julianne Zussman who is the lone Canadian representative in the 22 match officials named by World Rugby to handle the Olympic Rugby 7s competition in Tokyo.

Julianne first shows up in our BCRN database in 2011 as a member of Canada women's 7s team. Coaching that team were John Tait and Maria Gallo. The only current 7s player who was on that 2011 squad is Ghislaine Landry.

Julianne next shows up in 2014 in the XVs CanAm series versus the United States, hailing from the Town of Mount Royal RFC in Montreal.

By 2015 she is playing in the BC Premier league with the Castaway Wanderers of Oak Bay.

In 2016 she's a regular on the national women's XVs team, at the national championships she represents Quebec. In our write up of the national championships that year we noted, "Quebec boasts the best attacking player in the country, Julianne Zussman".

In 2017 she was a key member of Canada's world cup team that placed 5th, defeating Australia 43-12 in the 5th/6th place match.

By 2018 she was showing up in the local BC match official lists, at first taking on some of the lower division matches.

By 2019 she was taking on the role of Referee Assessor in some matches and officiating in the men's BC Premier league.

In 2019 she was named as a match official for the women's World Rugby 7s Series.

Refereeing opportunities in 2020, post COVID, have been few and far between but this appointment will certainly be a highlight in her career. Well done, Julianne!

from World Rugby

The squad of 22 match officials that will take charge of the women’s and men’s rugby sevens competitions at the delayed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has today been announced by World Rugby to mark the 100 days to go milestone until the action kicks off in Tokyo Stadium on 26 July, 2021.

The match officials' squad contains representatives from 12 countries spread across four continents and includes eight female referees. The group includes a blend of highly experience referees and exciting young talent making their debuts on the Olympic stage.

Both Sara Cox and Amy Perrett were involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, with Perrett having refereed the first ever Olympic rugby sevens match and also the women’s bronze medal match. In a clear demonstration of progress, six of the selected match officials gained invaluable experience at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires, including Portugal’s Paulo Duarte who took charge of the men’s final.

The individuals were selected by the 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.

The group also includes five internationals who have swapped the playing shirt for the whistle. Selica Winiata is a current Black Ferns player who has been capped 40 times and is aiming to compete at the Rugby World Cup on home soil next year. She was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2017, scoring two tries in the final at her second Rugby World Cup. She is also a former Black Ferns Sevens player, becoming Rugby World Cup Sevens champion in 2013, and runner-up in 2009. She has since refereed at four events on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and impressed when refereeing at the Oceania Rugby Women's Sevens Championship in November 2019.

Also making the conversion from player to referee is Julianne Zussman who scored 18 tries in 44 tests for Canada and played in three Rugby World Cups, claiming a runners-up medal in 2014. Madeleine Putz played for Australia, including twice at Rugby World Cup 2014. On the men’s side Richard Haughton played for England at Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2005 and at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, while Damon Murphy represented Australia at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 and at the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

The full match official squad for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 rugby sevens is:

Men's Sevens (26-28 July)

James Doleman (New Zealand)
Craig Evans (Wales, Great Britain)
Francisco Gonzalez (Uruguay)
Sam Grove-White (Scotland, Great Britain)
Nori Hashimoto (Japan)
Richard Haughton (England, Great Britain)
Damon Murphy (Australia)
Nehuen Rivero (Argentina)
Matthew Rodden (Hong Kong)
Damian Schneider (Argentina)
Jordan Way (Australia)

Women's Sevens (29-31 July)

Sara Cox (England, Great Britain)
Amy Perrett (Australia)
Hollie Davidson (Scotland, Great Britain)
Lauren Jenner (New Zealand)
Adam Jones (Wales, Great Britain)
Paulo Duarte (Portugal)
Tyler Miller (Australia)
Madeleine Putz (Australia)
Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji)
Selica Winiata (New Zealand)
Julianne Zussman (Canada)

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