Leinster Match Program – Article 7

Leinster v Toulon

Happy Holidays to all. With Christmas the domestic season takes a short break but for our National Panel referees the break is a short one. Many will be coming off EPRC games in Europe and will be straight into the Guinness Pro 12 Christmas season. In European action this weekend : Dudley Philips – Sales Sharks v Castres with Paul Haycock running the line for Dudley. Gary Conway is in Brive v Enisei, whilst Brian MacNeice and Kevin Beggs, two European veterans are in Pau v Newport Gwent Dragons assisting Andrew Brace.

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Law changes: Possibilities

At present it seems that there are not really any changes to the laws though there are several envisaged.

It has become usual that there are changes after each world cup with a moratorium on changes for the rest of the four-year period. (The moratorium, it seems, is a pious myth as numerous ‘clarifications/rulings’ happen instead which have the force of laws and rugby continues to muddle along.

Countries can now put their names down to test out proposed changes. Such testing is known in Australia, England, France, Wales and in four of World Rugby’s competitions – Nations Cup, Pacific Nations Cup, Tbilisi Cup and Under-20 Trophy.

The World Rugby competitions will try out all the possible changes. They will be selectively trues in Australia’s National Rugby Championship, the Army Premiership in England, France’s Academy League, New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship and in Wales the Premiership and the Colleges Championship.

Clearly other countries will join in as they deem fit.

We shall go through the proposed changes as they appear in the law book. The big ones are the referees, the tackle, maul and the scrum. Mind you all law changes are important. After all it is the laws that give the game its inner distinctive beauty – make it different from tiddlywinks. Change the laws and you change the game.

And what about a five-metre drop out?

As the experiments go along, those playing guinea pig will report and reports will be examined by three World Rugby working committees (Law Review Group, the Scrum Steering Group and the Multi-Disciplinary Injury Prevention Group), then by the Rugby Committee and then by the executive of World Rugby. Law changes my be approved as late as November 2018.

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Leinster Match Program – Article 6

Leinster v Ulster

Champions Cup Officiating.

The European season is well and truly underway. The arrival of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup see Leinster Rugby Referees dispersed all over Europe. We generally see our referees being sent to games in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup as teams of three or more. This means that an Irish referee will typically have two touch judges from Ireland with him and most likely the TMO will also be Irish. This is obviously important in terms of getting communication on the field right but also helps in putting a referee at ease when he is working with colleagues familiar to him. Last weekend there were no fewer than 17 Irish officials in action across Europe.

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Leinster Match Program – Article 5

Leinster v Wasps

Firstly welcome to Mathieu Raynal, todays match referee. It is truly great to see him in Dublin. Two years ago Mathieu, not that he needs to be reminded, was the referee for the Montpellier home game against Racing Métro in the 2012–13 Top 14 season. On the 56th minute, he was caught between two rugby players, and later scans reveled he had a double fracture to his tibia and fibula. Horrific, but he bounced back and he is here today.


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.

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RBS Women’s 6 Nations 2016 referee appointments revealed

6 August 2015; Referee Helen O'Reilly. Leinster Rugby Branch Referee Photos. Bective Rangers, Donnybrook, Dublin. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

World Rugby have unveiled the appointments for the RBS Women’s 6 Nations in February and March next year. Again, the world’s leading female officials will be in Europe to control the series, many of whom will have an eye towards the Rio Olympics next summer.

Helen O’Reilly will referee Scotland v France on march 11th.

Colm Roche selected for World Rugby Dubai 7’s

Congratulations to Leinster Rugby Referee old boy Colm Roche who has been selected in the panel of World Rugby referees for the Dubai 7’s. Colm will be assistant referee for the World Rugby 7’s World Series competition in Dubai and will officiate at the invitational tournament in Dubai also.


Colm moved over to Dubai a number of months ago and has since been refereeing under the guidance of UAE Rugby.


The next David Keane? Maybe.

An evening with Alain Rolland

Leinster Rugby Referees are delighted to invite all members to ‘An Evening with Alain Rolland’.


Date: Tuesday 8th December

Venue: Clontarf RFC

Time: 8pm

Alain will be speaking about his rugby career, his accidental move into an amazing refereeing career and his life, as portrayed in his fabulous new book – The Whistle Blower: The Alain Rolland Story.

Alain will have some copies of his book available also.

All welcome.


Metro Area Meeting

The next Metro Area meeting is on Tuesday Dec 8th in Clontarf. Due to the arrangement of Alain Roland’s talk at the same venue, we will be moving the starting time to 6:45pm. I look forward to see you there, should be a great evening.

NOTE: If you intend on only arriving for Alain’s talk, please arrive at 7:55 and not earlier so not to disrupt the Metro meeting.



6:45 to 7:00 – Registration / Tea & Coffee

7:00 to 7:40 – Presentation from David O’Brien

7:40 to 7:55 – Guest Speaker – Gary Conway.

7:55 Metro Meeting closes

8:00pm – “An Evening with Alain Roland”