Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) senior match
official Tim Baker has been appointed to officiate in the 2017 RBS
Women’s Six Nations (W6N), extending a series of premier
appointments for Hong Kong’s top referee.
The appointment follows
on from Baker’s role at the Pacific Cup in Uruguay and his
appointment as the assistant referee for the Japan versus
Argentina match last year, when he became the first Hong Kong
Referee to officiate in a Tier 1 test match.
“Tim has been on World Rugby’s radar for the
past 18 months. With the World Cup in Ireland in mind, they
invited Tim as a member of the panel for the Women’s Six Nations,”
said Hugh Watkins, National Referee Development Manager at the
HKRU, who hailed the appointment as a milestone in local rugby. “It’s a landmark for a Hong Kong referee to be appointed to
referee at the Six Nations. We are delighted and thrilled for Tim.
He’s worked exceptionally hard and he thoroughly deserves this
appointment as just reward for his dedication and determination.
Tim has put Hong Kong refereeing on the map.”
served as Assistant Referee for the opening round match between
England and France at Twickenham on Saturday (4 February) and will move
into the middle for France v Scotland (11 February) in France.
“It’s appropriate that Tim’s appointment comes at a time when
women’s rugby is riding so high in Hong Kong, with the national team’s qualification for the World Cup,” added Watkins.
“We hope that, on the back of a good performance, Tim may be in
line to officiate at the Women’s World Cup in August, and before
that, the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia. There is now a
clear pathway for Tim to demonstrate his ability, but we will take
it one step at a time.”
Baker said, “I’m
hugely excited. This is the highest level at which I have
refereed. As we saw in Hong Kong, the women’s game has grown so much over the last few years. The skill levels are higher and the
players are faster and stronger. That means the match officials also need to be fitter, stronger and faster. I’m also honoured to be the first referee from Asia to be appointed to a
Six Nations game. It is hugely exciting for me personally, of
course, but I’m most pleased because it shows that the hard work
we are putting in in Hong Kong is paying off.”
completion of the Women’s Six Nations, the panel, (nine referees
and five assistant referees), will be selected for the Women’s
World Cup and Baker understands that this is an opportunity for
him to impress.
“Making sure that I perform to the best of
my ability will enhance my selection opportunities further. That’s
my goal, as being selected for a World Cup in any sport is a
massive achievement. That would also mark the first time that a
match official from Asia would be selected to referee at a Rugby
World Cup,” Baker added.
Baker is also eyeing the World Rugby U20s
Championship and future Tier 1 appointments, “Refereeing
test matches is my ultimate goal and with Japan hosting the 2019
Rugby World Cup there could be more opportunities for me with
teams coming into Japan to play prior to the World Cup. All I have
to do is keep ticking the boxes and gaining more and more
experience on the international stage.”
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
See other recent