USA Rugby’s Leah Berard refereed the 2013 iRB Women’s Sevens World Cup Final on June 30th at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia. The final was contested between New Zealand and Canada with the kiwis running out winners 29-12.
Leah’s run to the World Cup Final has been impressive and started in December 2011 as Assistant Referee at the iRB Men’s Sevens Series in South Africa. This secured her an appointment to the iRB Women’s Sevens Challenge in Hong Kong, March 2012, where she was appointed to the final in her first international women’s tournament. At the end of 2012 she was appointed to the iRB Women’s Sevens Panel and refereed at the iRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
In addition to Sevens, Leah is quickly establishing herself in 15’s too, where she refereed her first Test Match, USA v France, in June. She is appointed to the iRB Women’s Nations Cup in Colorado in August that will be contested by USA, Canada, England and South Africa.
Richard Every, High Performance Referee Manager, says, “Leah has been inspirational in her dedication and success. She is a great ambassador for USA Rugby Referees and for the game, nationally and internationally. Her achievements to date, I believe, is just the beginning of a long and successful career.”
USA Rugby Referees launched international exchange programs in 2011 with SA Rugby, and recently have been working with NZ Rugby. “We understand the importance of approaching our programs on an international level to ensure that we can provide the best development and opportunities that are in line with the iRB. Bernd Gabbei, iRB Referee Development Manager, has done a great job of expanding the reach of women’s refereeing and it has allowed the women’s game and women’s referees to grow to the international stage.” says Richard, “We have many good women referees and great new prospects in the USA, that we continue to develop with the men in one combined program in both Sevens and 15’s.”
Submitted by USA Rugby