Tokyo Olympics: Black Ferns star Selicia Winiata named as one of three Kiwi sevens referees

Black Ferns and New Zealand sevens star Selica Winiata will ply a different trade at the Tokyo Olympics, selected as one of three Kiwis on the refereeing panel.

Winiata, 34, will officiate the women's sevens tournament at the Tokyo Games, alongside fellow New Zealanders James Doleman and Lauren Jenner on World Rugby's appointed referees list.

"On behalf of New Zealand Rugby I'd like to congratulate James, Lauren and Selica on their selection to officiate at the Olympics," New Zealand Rugby's head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said.

"It's great reward for the work they have been putting in and we look forward to seeing them on the World's biggest sporting stage."

The multiple World Cup winner has officiated sevens since late 2019, balancing sevens and refereeing ever since. Winiata has refereed in four World Sevens Series events, before the COVID-19 pandemic saw the competition halted, with heavy restrictions on international travel.

A veteran of 40 tests for the Black Ferns, Winiata has won the Rugby World Cup, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, and the World Sevens Series as a player.

Winiata is understood to be concentrating on refereeing this  year, but intends to return to the Black Ferns when they aim to defend their World Cup title, held in New Zealand next year.