This article appeared in the Zebre Pro 14 Match Program
Welcome to another issue of Referee Corner. Congratulations are extended to our refereeing colleagues whom have been selected for Summer Internationals. They will be on duty around the globe in June, with Andrew Brace refereeing Argentina v Wales on June 9 – almost twelve months to the day of his Test debut in Canada – before staying on Argentinian soil for two assistant referee appointments. John Lacey will be in New Zealand at the same time, refereeing the third Test between the All Blacks and France on June 23 following two earlier run-outs as an AR. George Clancy will run the line for the Canada v Scotland and Canada v Russia matches, while Frank Murphy is heading Stateside for two AR appointments – South Africa v Wales and USA v Russia.
USRFR Simon McDowell will also provide Irish representation during the South Africa v England series in June, taking in all three Tests in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town as the appointed television match official. Congratulations to them all.
The annual dinner of the Leinster Rugby Referees is the highlight of our somewhat limited social calendar and is always a great event. This year it took place in Lansdowne FC on Saturday March 24th and was hosted by Leinster Rugby Referees President Conor Byrne.
A large gathering of provincial presidents, referees, assessor’s guests and friends attended the evening which was organised by the Referees Administration committee under Simon Owens and Wayne Sheridan, and of course Denis Collins, which was attended the President of the IRFU, Philip Orr and Niall Rynne President of Leinster Rugby. Irish public relations expert, writer, and television and radio personality Eoghan Ó Neachtain was also a guest at the function and spoke of his extensive life experiences servicing under three Taoisigh.
The Presidents of the other three refereeing associations in Ireland were also present – Shane McElwee of the Connacht Association of Referees, Brian Keating of the Munster Association of Referees and Shane Toolin of the Ulster Society for Rugby Football Referees. Other guests included World Rugby High Performance Match Officials Manager Alain Rolland, former International Referee and Cricketer Alan Lewis, World Rugby Council Member Susan Carty and referees from Georgia and our neighbouring provinces. Attendees were excellently entertained by the wonderful MC, Dermot Blake.
On the night our much anticipated annual awards are handed out. There are four main awards, one for lifetime achievement, one for referee of the year, another for refereeing performance of the year and one for club of the year. The lifetime achievement award is named after Ham Lambert who passed away a few years ago. Ham was an Irish cricketer, rugby union player and later international rugby referee. By profession a veterinary surgeon, he was noted for being the first in Ireland to own a practice devoted to the care of companion animals.
This year’s winner was Brian Pender a former referee, assessor and President of the Leinster Rugby Referees, has devoted a number of years to the association. He follows a long line of winners including Norman Camier, Brendan Jenkinson, Tom Aplin, and Des McCabe to name a few.
The award for referee of the year is named after Harold ‘Harry’ Ardill. Harry was instrumental in developing, recruiting and educating referees within Leinster. The referee of the year award accounts for both on field and off field efforts and contribution to the association. This year’s award is yet to be handed out but will be update you all on the winner in due course.
The Club of the Year award is named after Terry Doyle, former President of the association. The award was named after Terry in 2011 and the first recipients were Edenderry RFC. This year’s recipients of the Terry Doyle Memorial Award were Old Wesley RFC. In a tightly fought contest they came out above last years winner Greystones (2), and Wicklow (3). Other winners of this award include Greystones, Terenure College, Lansdowne, Ashbourne, Skerries, Edenderry, Malahide and UCD. Old Wesley have been there or there about in voting for the last number of seasons and have put a huge club effort into regenerating the club and its facilities and thoroughly deserve their win.
The final award that is handed out is the Alain Rolland Referee Performance of the Year which was won last year by Susan Carty. This year’s winner was Cillian Hogan who was presented with the trophy by World Rugby High Performance Match Officials Manager Alain Rolland . Cillain puts in a huge amount of time for the referees and is regularly seen touch judging and refereeing junior and underage games as well as All Ireland League and of course this years schools Junior Cup Final. He is thoroughly deserving of this award.
With only a few weeks left in the season we are immensely proud of the work that has been put in by referees at all levels this season and look forward to moving onwards in the 2018/19 season. We congratulate Susan Carty on her appointment to the World Rugby Council and look forward to a busy end to the season.
Do you think you have you got what it takes to be a referee? The Leinster Referees always need more referees and opting to become one may be the best decision you’ve made for a long time. Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at email@example.com or contact by phone Denis Collins at 01-2235107 or David O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our facebook page, our website www.arlb.ie or through twitter @leinsterreferee.