Referees’ boss stuck in Australia weeks from the Olympics

International rugby referees manager Paddy O’Brien is said to have been temporarily stuck in Brisbane, Australia. Despite this delay in his flight he still continues to do his work online for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

O’Brien is set to fly from Brisbane this Saturday morning as he begins his journey to Tokyo, he is set to land Japan on July 20.

Last Thursday, O’Brien was able to pass the last two Covid-19 tests that was required before boarding the New Zealand bound flight.

“I’m looking forward to being home on Saturday,” O’Brien said.

The stoppage of the trans-Tasman bubbles has prevented him from returning sooner.

O’Brien has been World Rugby 7s referees manager for nine years. At the Tokyo Olympics, he is going to be in charge of the 22 referees from around the world who will participate in the games from July 23 to August 8.

Both the men’s and women’s competitions are set to happen in the span of three days each, with  the men’s games kicking off on July 26, while the women’s team will follow on the 29th.

Three New Zealand referees will be officiating in the Olympics, James Doleman, Lauren Jenner and former Black Fern Selica Winiata will make her Olympic debut.

“The Olympics is the pinnacle of any sport. The Rio Olympics is my greatest memory in rugby. all of the world’s best athletes gathered in the one place.

“[Officiating at the Olympics] is the pinnacle for all our referees.”

The Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 is set to kick off in a few weeks, and still the pandemic gives organizers more things to worry about. It was recently announced that spectators are no longer allowed on the stand as the threat of the delta Covid-19 variant continues to rise.