rugby 5 things to know about Evan Urruzmendi, new Pro D2 referee at only 26 years old

Basque Evan Urruzmendi represents the next generation of French refereeing. (© Hendaïs Stadium)

This is one of the new nuggets of French arbitration. At only 26 years old, the Basque official Evan Urruzmendi promoted to Pro D2 for the 2022-2023 season and will lead his first official professional matches in September, having started his summer preparation with the Rouen-Vannes match on Saturday 6 August.

A meteoric rise for this gifted whistler, who has everything to be the worthy heir of the Romain Poite, Llorenç Cardona i Cedric Marchat, who have just left the whistle to join the squads of Toulon, Bordeaux-Bègles and Béziers respectively. Here are 5 things to know about this young Luzien that we probably haven’t heard yet.

  • He is from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, but graduated from Hendaye

Pure Basque, Evan Urruzmendi was born Saint John of Light (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), but has its license in the neighboring club, Hendaye. He is also in regular contact with Stade Hendayais, whose flag team he plays in Fédérale 2. “I can intervene in training in specific workshops (scrum, touch, ground game, etc.) to make the players know the rules and thus answer their questions. ”, he explains on the page Facebook Black and white Xuriak.

“I am in contact with the coaches of the different categories of the club and I really make myself available to them. There is also video commentary of the matches which is important and which we are going to develop with the first team squad. A player who knows the rules can only be better on the field! “, he says, knowingly, since he played rugby from the age of 5 to 18.

  • It passed through the Pole of Hope in Bayonne

Like many young people, Evan Urruzmendi he grew up dreaming of becoming a professional rugby player. Naturally, he started playing on the oval at the age of 5 at Olympique de Saint-Jean-de-Luz (SJLO) through to junior level, before trying refereeing around the age of 15, when he joined at the Pôle Espoir de Bayonne in which he made his debut. “I quickly realized that I had more ability to progress in this discipline than in rugby. In the end, it could be more interesting to continue on this path 100%”, recalls the interested party.

“Arbitration is a good school of life, where you acquire confidence and autonomy. It is the meeting place of many people. Passion for rugby is essential to progress. We are supervised and trained throughout our careers and although it is an individual sport, refereeing is still a family of friends. That’s what I liked about this discipline. »

  • At the age of 20, he was already refereeing in the Federal 3

Quickly spotted for his qualities as a referee, Evan Urruzmendi experienced a lightning ascension. “I progressed quite quickly from qualifying to 20, to Federal 3, then to Federal 2 the following season. After 3 years at this level, I joined the group of referees of Federal 1 and had the opportunity to lead about twenty matches of the National professional division during the last financial year”, he underlines.

Videos: currently in Actu

“I found out a few weeks ago that he will be joining the Pro D2 central pool of referees for the 2022-2022 season. “A second division championship that he already discovered last season, as a line referee and referee number 4 (on the sidelines) in five days.

  • He works in a seafood import/export company

Not yet a professional, although he is well on his way to getting there, Evan Urruzmendi currently does not live off arbitration and leads a double life, between the whistle and the family business specializing in the import and export of the sea.” It is a opportunity that I have, and which, fortunately, allows me to have time for arbitration”, welcomes the interested party to the microphone of France Bleu Pays Basque.

Franck Maciello’s view on Evan Urruzmendi

With Actu Rugby, Franck Maciello, head of the National Refereeing Directorate, spoke highly of Evan Urruzmendi:

“He is a young man who represents the French refereeing of tomorrow. He has all the assets to succeed. Now, he has just taken a step that is perhaps the simplest. There are other levels to climb, and these are the most complicated because the sector professional will ask him even more demands and work. But his promotion is quite interesting, he has been refereeing for 10 years. He is a guy who works hard, who is very up to date. listening to his teammates, and he has a lot of potential in him .He is moving fast, but calmly. I have no doubt that he will be under pressure for his first match in Pro D2, but so much the better. If not, If not, that means he is not ready, we will be there to prepare this match with him.

  • He is “sponsored” by Vivien Praderie and trained by Jean-Luc Rebollal

On local radio, Evan Urruzmendi comments that he is perfecting his physical preparation with the support of a coach, Jean-Luc Rebollalformer central referee in the Top 14 until 2013 and now video referee in the Top 14. But the young Basque official also has another sponsor in the middle, in the person of Périgourdin Praderie livedreferee of reference in the Top 14. maintained ties and it is interesting to be able to rely on various opinions to continue growing”, he says.

But Evan Urruzmendi also has another role model, the Bayonnais Tomás Charabas who also experienced a first promotion by officiating in Pro D2 at the age of 24, then two years later in the Top 14. “When you see how he has to reconcile his work as an emergency doctor at the hospital in Bayonne and his passion for Refereeing is very inspiring. »

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