They are among the fittest and fastest match officials in global sport, and the referees selected for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games have a golden opportunity to shine on one of sport’s biggest global stages.

A team of 14 match officials representing nine nations have been selected by World Rugby for the showcase event that will be played at the Robina Stadium on the Gold Coast from 13-15 April.

An experienced team of eight officials will take charge of matches in the 16-team men’s competition: Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Damon Murphy (Australia), Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Craig Evans (Wales), Richard Haughton (England), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji) and Jordan Way (Australia).

The inaugural eight-team women’s competition will be officiated by a team of experienced HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series regulars: Sara Cox (England), Rose LaBreche (Canada), Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa), Rebecca Mahoney (New Zealand), Hollie Davidson (Scotland) and Alhambra Nievas (Spain).

Rasivhenge and Nievas refereed the men’s and women’s Olympic Games rugby sevens gold medal matches respectively in Rio, while Haughton won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games with England and was renowned for being one of the fastest players of his generation.

Murphy also played for Australia in those Games in Melbourne, losing to Fiji in the bronze medal match, while Mahoney is a double Women's Rugby World Cup winner with New Zealand.

World Rugby’s High Performance Sevens Referees Manager Paddy O’Brien said: “The Commonwealth Games is a major target for players and match officials alike. Our team have been preparing hard for the Gold Coast and they are looking forward to being a part of what will be a landmark sevens occasion, featuring the first women’s competition.”