A warm welcome to today’s officiating team of John Lacey (MAR), Frank Murphy, and Jonathon Peak. John is no stranger to Leinster fans and is a former Ireland A and Ireland Sevens international. As a player, Lacey spent most of career with Shannon in the All-Ireland League racking up an impressive medal collection. He has also represented Munster on a number of occasions. As an international referee he has taken charge of matches in the Six Nations Championship, the Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup. He also refereed the 2013 Pro12 Grand Final and the 2015–16 and 2016–17 European Rugby Challenge Cup finals.
Firstly, we wish to congratulate the amazing Helen O’Reilly on a fantastic international refereeing career. Helen recently refereed her 25th and final international match when Scotland recently took on Spain at Scotstoun Stadium. She has been and continues to be a great ambassador for the Leinster Rugby Referees.
Metro Area Focus
As a group of referees we meet each month, on the second Monday, to get together to discuss things that have happened during our games, share experiences and how we dealt with various scenarios. We also get a presentation from David O’Brien from the IRFU Referees Department on a particular topic, like the breakdown, ruck, maul and lineouts for example. This is like any professional organisation where they do continual professional development (CPD), we review trends, things that may be changing in the game and how to deal with them along with any law changes or interpretations that may be passed down from World Rugby. We had our last area meeting on the 13th January in Lansdowne RFC, by kind permission. 48 referees and assessors from the Metro region attended the meeting with Dave O’Brien doing a presentation on Lines outs and mauls forming from lineouts.
In the area there has been an increased focus on trying to fill as many underage (U13s to U18.5) fixtures as possible on a weekly basis. We operate a referee request system where the clubs will put in a request for a referee for their games and we appoint referees and our trial members to those games. A trial member are those who have completed the new referees workshop and are building up their experience at underage before getting their adult trial match, where they are assessed in order to become a full ARLB referee member.
To give you an idea of the number of underage games we have had, to the end of January, we appointed to 228 games (Sept 17 to Jan 18), compared to 86 games for the same period last year (Sept 16 to Jan 17). The increased number of youth games means we always need to increase the number of referees that are coming into the association to make sure that we fill all the appointments. In the adult game the number of games is also on the increase. So far this season we have had 10 new referees pass their trial game and become full referee members of the ARLB in the metro area.
The rugby season now starts to turn to the cup competitions. This part of the season adds to our workload and it is an exciting time for clubs and referees alike. It is great for a referee to be given a cup fixture. For the underage sections the cup competitions culminate in finals days in Donnybrook stadium, which is highlight in the underage calendar, with referees eager to find out if they have been selected to referee one of the coveted finals.
Want to get involved?
Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact by phone Denis Collins at 01-2235107 or David O’Brien at email@example.com. If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our Facebook and Google + pages, our website www.arlb.ie or through twitter @leinsterreferee.