SCT Challenge Cup Round 1 Appointments

Dermot Blake referees Belvedere v Roscrea on TV
John Carvill referees Newbridge v St Gerards
Marcus Casey referees Gonzaga.v Castleknock,
Andrew Cole referees St Marys v Terenure
Cillian Hogan referees Wesley v Clongowes,
Helen O’Reilly referees Pres Bray v Blackrock College,
Colm Roche referee Kilkenny v St Michaels,
Brian MacNeice referees the final game where the Qualifiers from the Vinnie Murray Cup meet.

Good luck to all referees.

Mid-Season Seminar

Mid-Season Seminar

Thursday 24th January 2019

St. Mary’s College RFC

7pm coffee with a prompt start

We are delighted to have Gordon D’Arcy, former international player and now journalist as one of our guest speakers.  We will also be joined by Dr Olivia Hurley, Sport psychologist, who has done work with the Irish team.  She will address the psychology of refereeing.

It promises to be an exciting gathering of the ARLB and so I do hope you will  join us on the 24th.

New Referees Workshop

The Leinster Rugby Referees will be running a new referees workshop in the next few weeks as follow:

Date: 26 January 2019

Venue: TBC at 9.00am

To register your interest go to

Why become a referee?

  • Stay with the game as an alternative to playing.
  • Social – The social aspect of rugby is renowned. Refereeing is a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
  • Fitness – It is a fantastic way to keep fit. The IRFU have the highest level of expertise in this area.
  • Travel – The highest level you reach as a referee, the more involvement you will have at European Competitions,  Pro 14 League and the All Ireland League
  • Referees ‘a club within a club’ who meet regularly for meetings. There’s a great team spirit.
  • Ambition – could you referee an international match?
  • Tickets – Referees are allowed to apply for international and provincial match tickets.

Leinster Match Program – Article 7

Welcome to another issue of Referee Corner and a Happy Christmas to one and all. We hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. We are looking forward to January and our second recruitment course this season. If you are interested in refereeing we will be running a new referees workshop next January as follow:

Date: 26 January 2019

Venue: TBC at 9.00am

To register your interest go to

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.)

Continue reading Leinster Match Program – Article 7

Gallagher to referee Womens Six Nations

Leinster international referee Sean Gallagher will take charge of matches in the upcoming Women’s Six Nations Championship in February and March. World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the 2019 Women’s Six Nations Championship. A team of 13 referees, two assistant referees and five television match officials have been selected for the tournament.

The appointments include ten female referees and six of the selected referees will be making their Six Nations debuts – Nikki O´Donnell (RFU), Laura Pettingale (RFU), Clara Munarini (FIR), Rebecca Mahoney(NZRU), Aurelie Groizeleau (FFR) and Hollie Davidson (SRU).

Aimee Barrett-Theron from South Africa will take charge of the Championship’s opening game when Ireland face England at Energia Park in Dublin on Friday, February 1. The IRFU’s Sean Gallagher will referee France v Wales in the opening round. Gallagher’s Irish colleague and 2017 World Rugby Referee of the Year, Joy Neville, will have the whistle for the clash between England and Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday, March 16. Fellow IRFU match official Leo Colgan will act as TMO for a number of fixtures.

Merry Christmas.

Wishing all our members and friends a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2019.

Good luck to all our officials that are officiating over the festive season.

Leinster Match Program – Article 6

Firstly, Happy December and a very warm welcome to the all French team of Referee: Pascal Gauzère, Assistant Referee 1: Maxime Chalon, Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Luc Rebollal andTMO: Eric Gauzins to the Aviva Stadium today. They are assisted by the recently engaged 4th official Marcus Casey (Congrats Marcus) and 5th Official Paul O’Connor.

Pascal made his international refereeing debut in 2009, when he refereed the match between Tonga under-20s and Wales under-20s in the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship. He was once again on the IRB panel for the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship, refereeing several matches including the final between Australia under-20s and New Zealand under-20s. In late 2010, he  made his debut at the professional level, touch judging and refereeing in four matches in the 2010 end-of-year rugby union tests. His first match as match referee was between Georgia and Canada. He made his Six Nations debut in 2011, when he was one of the officials in the Scotland and Ireland match in the 2011 Six Nations Championship. Good luck to Pascal and his team today.

Continue reading Leinster Match Program – Article 6

Fiona Mallen Interview

Refereeing 3 years now, we caught up Fiona Mallen recently.

What made you decide to take up the whistle?

I played womens rugby for about 7 years. In our leagues we found it difficult to secure quality referees for our games. I decided that there is no point complaining about it especially since there were so few female referees. So I decided to give refereeing a go.

What is the biggest thing you have learned since you started out?

I have learned that I am stronger than I think. I was put way out of my comfort zone refereeing. It’s in those moments were you learn a lot about yourself as a person. My skills refereeing have definitely given me confidence and resilience in other areas of my life. Whenever I am in an uncomfortable or stressful situation I tell myself that if I can referee 30 odd burly rugby men for 80 mins then I can do this.

What was the process like to become a referee?

It’s a straight forward enough process. You do a full course day and at then you are put under the guidance of an area rep. I started refereeing underage matches. Once a month there are area workshops about 2 hours long. After about 6 months I got a trial match and passed it to become a Leinster branch referee.

What is your training regime like?

Im in the gym twice a week, I go for a run or sprint work once or twice a week.

What is your favourite thing about refereeing? 

There is a great buzz you get when you are pushed out of your comfort zone and you come off the pitch knowing that you facilitated a great game.

What is the most memorable game you have refereed so far?

I refereed an u18 girls interprovincial match between Leinster and Ulster. I’m not sure it was my finest performance but it was a great occasion and one I was very proud to be part of.

What is your pre – match routine like?

I always like to have my gear ready the night before. The morning of the match I have a good breakfast and focus on hydrating as well as I can. On the drive to the match I try to visualise scenarios from kickoffs and set pieces.

I have a notebook where I have written down key areas of focus on the pitch and the key laws. It contains notes from workshops and also post match notes. If I get something wrong, it gets written in the notebook. I always have a read through that pre game.

What are your refereeing aspirations? 

I would really love to get involved in the international women’s game. That will take a lot of hard work and talent and I might not ever make it. Fortunately I love being pushed out of my depth and given a new challenge. Every match you referee from underage to J1 presents its own challenges. You can never rest on your laurels.

What one law would you like to change or introduce?

I don’t really think about laws like that. My job is to buy into the philosophy behind the law and ensure that its implemented to the best of my ability.

Who is your idol or favourite referee and why?

Joy Neville.  I got to work with her as a Touch Judge in an AIL match this year. Her attitude to refereeing is great. She works hard before, during and at down time to ensure a good game. She certainly does not rest on her incredible achievements. I really buy into that attitude and philosophy when it comes to refereeing.

What will make you improve as a referee?

Every game you have gives you a new challenge/scenario to deal with. Each match helps me improve. Talking things through with other experienced referees is always helpful.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up refereeing?

If you are thinking about it just do it. People worry a lot about the grief referees get. What they don’t see is the satisfaction when particularly a losing player shakes your hand and tells you that you that you facilitated a great game.

Do you any self-analysis after games?

Always. I could replay matches and parts of matches over and over in my head. Particularly if I think I got something wrong. I’m my own worst critic. I always write the scenarios down in my notebook. I always look up relevant laws and often have a chat with other referees to help me make things clear in my own mind.

Leinster Match Program – Article 5

Welcome to another edition of referees corner and a very warm welcome to todays referee Marius Mitrea. Marius is double jobbing this weekend as he will run the line for tomorrow nights game between Ireland and the USA. Marius started refereeing in the National Championship of Excellence in 2009 and made the step up to European rugby during the 2011–12 Pro12 – his first match being Connacht vs Scarlets on 10 September 2011. He also debuted at European level, refereeing during the 2011–12 European Challenge Cup before making the jump up to the Heineken Cup in 2013.

He made his international debut in 2010 before making his Six Nations Championship debut as an assistant referee in 2014 Six Nations Championship. In 2013 he was on the referee panel for the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship, where he refereed 3 matches, including the 7th place game between Australia and Ireland. In September 2015, he went to the 2015 Rugby World Cup as an assistant referee.

Continue reading Leinster Match Program – Article 5