Back to blog

Guest Ref – Federico Anselmi

Guest Ref – Federico Anselmi

Federico is a World Rugby 15s and 7s referee and a friend of The Rugby Ref. Here he details how he became an international referee.

I started to Ref when I was 24 in my Club. During this time, I played, coached and Refereed for u15. I would have never believed that my career could be as a Full-time Referee. I went on to complete my University degree in Management and worked in Human Resources for a while. It was in 2009 that I went on my first

overseas Referee course in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Upon completing this course, I decided in 2010 to become a Professional Rugby Referee.

The decision was easy, and from 2010 until August 2016, I Refereed on the World Rugby Sevens Series finishing in Rio Olympics. The Olympics was one of my best memories of my career. This time was special for myself and my mates, traveling around the world, learning and growing as a Referee.

My career became more dedicate in 2013, when I started officiate in 15s as well for World Rugby. One of my best memories was Canada vs NZ Maoris in Toronto. I will never forget this game.

In 2014 the Junior World Cup in Auckland was another step up for me. The Referee Team was some of my closest friends. This helped the experience become an easy month of rugby, with a lot of laughs. A strong showing and good presentation with the Ref Manager and Selectors, gave me a small chance to be in England for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as AR.

Finally, I am all in for 15s in London for RWC, plus the chance to be involved in Super Rugby, where I started my first matches in 2016. To be involved in the Rugby World Cup was the Pinnacle of Learning for me. It was very impressive how the Top-Level Referee’s would operate in terms of preparation physically and mentally, as well as all the logistics, stadiums and the match’s themselves…. This was the BEST experience ever!

Now that I finished with 7s after Rio, I have since fully dedicated myself to 15s. My last November windows were a full month in Europe with Wales vs Australia as AR (one of the last games of Jub’s), As a Referee in Georgia vs Japan (Awesome city Tbilisi, people, stadium, crowd), As the Referee in Spain vs Uruguay (Finished a big fight, not funny at all), and wrapped it up with France vs NZ as AR (Big game, tough and entertaining to be on the sideline for).

I love what I do, it’s a mix of passion with enjoyment. To be in the middle of any game of rugby is my place in the World. Very challenging every game, with mistakes and learning to become better and better with each game. I have a lot of dreams, and have worked hard for achieve those dreams. The most important thing is to try to stay in balance with Refereeing, Family and Friends, which is not really easy at all (lol).

All the best for the The Rugby Ref, always a pleasure and I hope all the success for this new entrepreneurship.