One of global rugby’s most respected and experienced rugby citing commissioners, New Zealander Hinds has been a central figure in SANZAAR, New Zealand Rugby and World Rugby disciplinary processes for more than 20 years and was a citing commissioner at three consecutive Rugby World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015). He will officially start his role on 3 July 2017.
As World Rugby continues to enhance the connection between the on-field and off-field disciplinary environments, Hinds will be embedded in the Competitions and Performance team under Mark Egan, integrating with High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager Alain Rolland as well as newly-appointed Independent Judicial Panel Chairman Christopher Quinlan QC.
Hinds will be responsible for the management of World Rugby’s panel of citing commissioners, including the training, education, performance review and recommendation of members for elite international matches. He will also be responsible for managing the pathway of citing personnel from domestic level to the international arena in partnership with national member unions.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Steve’s blend of extensive experience, track record and intimate knowledge of the rugby playing and disciplinary landscape is perfectly suited to World Rugby’s objective to drive greater connectivity between the disciplinary process and the modern rugby environment.”
“These are exciting times for rugby on and off the field and with the game growing rapidly, Steve will be responsible for ensuring the highest-achievable citing standards and processes as well as collaborating with our unions to identify and prepare the next generation of international citing commissioners.”
Hinds said: “I am greatly honoured to be entrusted with this role and look forward to working closely with my referee and judicial colleagues to ensure a joined up disciplinary process that is relevant to today’s game. I am also looking forward to managing and developing a worldwide team of citing commissioners that further enhances the ability to deliver appropriate and consistent citing decisions.”
The announcement follows the implementation of a new merit-based judicial panel appointment process overseen by Quinlan whereby World Rugby appoints three-person judicial committees, wherever practicable, comprising one lawyer and two individuals with recent experience in the modern professional game. Global workshops have been undertaken with experienced former players, coaches and referees participating.
A policeman by profession, Hinds attained the rank of Superintendent in his native New Zealand. He also has a distinguished playing CV representing Wellington, New Zealand Combined Services and New Zealand Police, playing against the British & Irish Lions, France, Scotland and Fiji.