Leinster Match Program Article 5

This article appeared in the Edinburgh Match Day Program

Given that referees in all sports are verbally and physically abused, why would you take up refereeing? The truth is abuse in rugby is extremely rare and our referees are still held in the highest regard by players and supporters of the game. Obviously it is easy to have a pop at a referee rather than a player. Sure we make mistakes, but doesn’t everyone on the field?

Rugby referees are the envy of many sports. We have had referees from different codes at our meetings over the years and they have reaffirmed this to us. We do not take this respect lightly. In fact we work hard to ensure we stay on top of our game. We are there to facilitate the game and in our view we are the 31st person on the field.

Having recently watched the Setanta Sport series ‘Men in Black’ it is clear how different refereeing different code is. There are vast differences between Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer and Rugby. The preparation of all four referees in the series is the same but the minute they step on the pitch it is a different story. Whilst all referees command some respect from players on the pitch there seems to be a lot more formality between the communication of rugby referee and the players. Does this lead to a better game? Does it lead to greater compliance from players?

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New Referee Jersey Presentations

New referees who received their referee jersey at the Metro Area meeting on 11th November held at Bective Rangers RFC.

From left: Aurélie Lemouzy, Pat Carolan (ARLB President) & William Francis Fitzpatrick.

From left: Aurélie Lemouzy, Pat Carolan (ARLB President) & William Francis Fitzpatrick.

Phillips and Conway both on international duty this weekend.

Fiji vs USA at Stade de la Rabine, Vannes
Referee: Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Gary Conway (Ireland)
Television match official: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

England vs Samoa at Twickenham, England
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Robert Ockenden

An evening with Glen Jackson and Mike Frazer

Leinster Rugby Referees is delighted to invite all members to an evening with Glen Jackson (NZRFU) and Mike Fraser (NZRFU)

Thursday 20th November


Old Wesley RFC.

Glen and Mike will be in town to officiate the Ireland V Australia game and have kindly agreed to join us for an  informal gathering.


This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with two of the IRB’s top officials.  Glen – who will referee the game will also give us an insight into his journey from being a  professional with Saracens to climbing the ranks  of world refereeing.


Please join us in Old Wesley where there will be finger food and refreshments along with a blazing fire and some tip top company….

Ken Mills (RIP)

The President, Pat Carolan, on behalf of the Association of Referees, Leinster Branch,   extends our sincere sympathy to the family of Ken Mills, former President of the Association (1974 – 75), on his recent passing.

MILLS Kenneth (Ken), SC (Ballyboden, Dublin) – October 26, 2014 (peacefully) after several years in the tender care of the staff at Sally Park Nursing Home. Predeceased by Dot. Will be sadly missed by his loving children Carol, Paul and Gillian; grandchildren Owen, Fiona, Conor and Kevin; extended family including Sean, Olive and Mieke, and his many friends and colleagues from the world of sport and the Law Library.

Reposing at Fanagans Funeral Home, Main Street, Tallaght this Wednesday.  Funeral Service on Thursday in Rathfarnham Parish Church of Ireland at noon, followed by cremation at Newlands Cross Crematorium. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu, if desired, to the IRFU Charitable Trust.

Leinster Match Program – Article 4

This article appeared in the Wasps Champions Cup program.

So what is it like starting out as a referee? Learning to referee rugby games is largely a trial by fire process. On the field there is only one referee (although there may be a few on the sidelines), that referee cannot change a decision once made, and no-one else can help you (although they can complain.)

To start, you need a whistle obviously, a watch, a law book, a few cards red and yellow in colour, a thick skin, and a love for the game of rugby. You’d be surprised how often referees forget things like whistles and cards running on to the pitch. You get caught up trying to get everything else right and forget the minor, import details. I ran on the pitch for my first AIL game with no score cards or red or yellow cards. I was in Munster. I was going to need them. Luckily the touch judge had a few which I duly used. Knowing your laws is important. The law book should be read and then enforced more than the traffic laws in Dublin, but less than the traffic laws in Germany. A love for the game of rugby gets one through times that one’s skin is not sufficiently thick. The first place a referee will try using a whistle and a new understanding of the game from having actually read the law book (which most of us never did while we were playing), is during a club practice. Learning how to watch the game as a referee; find ways to stay close to, but out of the way of, play; get used to blowing a whistle and starting play are important aspects of growing into refereeing. In Leinster we start referees off with underage, youth’s games. It gives them a feel for the game at a slower pace with often more obedient subjects, although the sidelines can be the hardest bit to overcome.

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Leinster Match Program – Article 3

This article appeared in the Munster Match Program.


The start of the season usually sees the referee’s first social outing of the year. This year was no different as the annual golf outing took place in Dun Laoghaire Golf Club outside Bray in Wicklow. Over 40 referees hit the tee boxes for the afternoon onc they found the course after a number of road diversions. The course was in absolutely superb condition with the referees hacking through the lower and upper course. A torrential downpour set a few more prominent former referees back to the clubhouse early, but many braved the conditions and played on.

The winners on the day were as follows:

Winner Brindley Cup – David Bolger

Jim Dolan Memorial Plate – John Montayne

Muggs Cup – Patrick Mann

Visitors Prize – Pat Harrington

Longest Drive – David McHugh

Nearest Pin – Ray Ryan

Following the golf, the referees retired to the excellent clubhouse facilities and enjoyed a barbecue feast and the Connacht Leinster match. The President Pat Carolan handed out the prizes and thanked Dun Laoghaire for hosting the outing as short notice. Many thanks also went to Simon ‘Nigel’ Owens for his excellent organising of the event along with the administration committee for their efforts.

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