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In the build-up to the World Rugby Sevens World Cup in September 2022, the match officials have been named, and two South Africans will be present on the field.


Cape Town, South Africa (10 June 2022) – The days of rugby excitement are drawing near, and South Africa is anticipating a great turnout for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, which takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 9-11 September.

Cape Town has the infrastructure, skills, and scenery to create another masterpiece for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022.

The qualified teams for the men’s event are defending champions New Zealand, England, the Blitzboks, Fiji, Argentina, USA, France, Korea, Hong Kong and Scotland. Among the women’s teams, the Springbok Women’s Sevens side will join defending champions New Zealand, France, Australia, China, Japan and USA in Cape Town.

Leading up to the big sporting event, the match officials have been announced, and two South Africans have made the list. A total of eighteen match officials have been selected. Let’s take a look below.

Men’s panel

Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Adam Leal (England)
Jérémy Rozier (France)
Morné Ferreira (South Africa)
Reuben Keane (Australia)
Jordan Way (Australia)
Nick Hogan (New Zealand)
AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji)
Francisco González (Uruguay)

Women’s panel

Ben Breakspear (Wales)
Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Eki Fanlo (Spain)
Lauren Jenner (New Zealand)
Cisco Lopez (USA)
Tyler Miller (Australia)
Selica Winiata (New Zealand)
Julianne Zussman (Canada)

AJ Jacobs

Adriaan ‘AJ’ Jacobs grew up loving rugby and went on to join the sport as soon as he could. He dreamed of becoming a professional player one day, but it was during a brawl at school level that he was headhunted to become a referee instead. He displayed the character needed to take on the job and was encouraged to join the Griffons Referees’ Society by the chairman of the Griffons referees, the late Jan Pienaar. AJ joined the Griffons Referees’ Society in 2010.

One of the highlights of his career so far has been refereeing the first game of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in June 2021.

When asked what his favourite law in rugby is, he shared that it’s the Advantage Law.

“Being an ex-player I sometimes play a bit more advantage to allow play to continue in an effort to keep the game flowing.”

Photo Credit: World Rugby

Morné Ferreira

For Morné Ferreira, rugby is a family business. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother JP Ferreira, a well-known rugby union defence coach. Morné played rugby all through his schooling career, but after injuries excluded him from having a full rugby experience in his 11th and 12th years at school, thus dampening his chance of a career playing the sport, JP suggested he look at refereeing instead.

This avenue proved to be fruitful, and Morné has had a rewarding career. One of the highlights of his career so far has been refereeing at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai after the lockdown.

When asked what his favourite law in rugby is, he shared that it’s not technically an official law but one of the most important ones.

“There are so many laws so to pick one out of the 22 is difficult. So I am going to go for what they call Law 23, which is the law of common-sense. With so many things happening on the pitch at the same time, sometimes a referee should just apply some common-sense and not over complicate things.”

Photo Credit: World Rugby

Sources: World Rugby
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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