Leinster Match Program 2018/19 – Article 2

This article appeared in the Edinburgh Match Day Program

As mentioned last week World Rugby announced that the current package of 12 global law trials will be adopted into rugby’s law book with immediate effect.The World Rugby Council unanimously decided to adopt the law amendments following positive feedback from players, coaches, match officials and fans, and an evaluation by World Rugby’s 15s Laws Review Group [LRG].

The LRG includes the IRFU’s David Nucifora and ex-Ireland international Alain Rolland, now World Rugby’s head of referees, while Paul O’Connell also provided input during what has been a four-year process of reviewing and amending the laws of the game. The global law trials that are to be adopted immediately into the law book have been in effect in the Northern Hemisphere since August of 2017, while they came into effect in the Southern Hemisphere in January of this year. That means you have already been refereeing or watching all of the laws in action. Let’s have a look at some of them, we will follow up with the others in a future article.

Law 3.15 – Uncontested scrums must have eight players
This means that if uncontested scrums happen as a result of a yellow/red card or an injury, both teams must still have eight players each in the scrum. The amendment will ensure that attacking teams from scrums will still have an advantage if it is the defensive team who has lost a player.

Law 5.7c – Permit penalty kick to touch after time has elapsed
This allows penalties to be kicked into touch and the lineout to be taken even after the match clock has run into the red.

Law 7.2 (d) – Where multiple penalty infringements occur, the non-offending team can choose the most advantageous
This means that the attacking team will have a choice of where to take their penalty from if the defence commits more than one offence during a single passage of play.

Law 8.1c, 8.3 and 8.7 – Penalty try has no conversion
Penalty tries are not required to be converted.

Law 18 and Law 21 – Touch, 22m and in-goal simplification
There are quite a few parts to the touch definitions regarding when the ball is “is not in touch or touch-in-goal”.
The amendments here look to simplify what happens if a player is already touching the touchline or touch-in-goal line when they catch or hold the ball.

Essentially, if the ball has reached the plane of touch before that player catches the ball, the catcher is not deemed to have taken it into touch. So, that means that the catcher’s team will have the throw into the lineout. However, if the ball has not yet reached the plane of touch when that player catches it or picks it up off the ground, then the catcher has brought it into touch, regardless of whether the ball is moving or not. That means that the opposition will have the throw into the lineout.

A lot of interesting changes which should see the game speed up and become clearer. Also it is great to see a new shortened law book.

Finally, it was great to see 50+ new recruits at our recent new recruits seminar. Many thanks to Richard Kerr (USRFR) for his excellent presentation and to Denis Collins and Gary Glennon for their trojan efforts in organizing.

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 through Sean Gallagher at Sean.Gallagher@irfu.ie

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.

Mobile App

Dont forget that Leinster Rugby Referees have a mobile phone web app which allows you to keep track of your upcoming fixtures through a live & up to date application that is compatible with most mobile devices.

This can be seen by typing https://www.arlb.ie/fixtures/mobile/ in to your mobile phone web browser.This app is primarily a web interface as opposed to an iphone app. Not all members have iphones so this was the most compatible method across multiple platforms to distribute this information. For iPhone users though you can add an icon to your home screen which will link you directly to the app. (Just click on the bookmark icon and select add to home screen). The news feed from the homepage of arlb.ie site is also available through this application.

Leinster Match Program 2018/19 – Article 1

This article appeared in the Dragons match program 15th September

It is hard to believe that the summer break is over and that we are into another season. Towards the end of last season Bryan O’Neill was elected President of the Leinster Rugby Referees taking over from Conor Byrne who had a fantastic year in office. We wish Bryan continued success for the season ahead.

It was great to see over 160 referees, assessors and members pack into Lansdowne FC for this year’s Annual Referee Seminar, which kickstarted the 2018/19 season. Many thanks to Robert Deacon, Vice President of Leinster Rugby for the warm introduction and to our own President Bryan O’Neill for his warm welcome.

Continue reading Leinster Match Program 2018/19 – Article 1

Presidents Address






It is a great honour and privilege to the President of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch for the season 2018/19 and also that I am the 100th person to have the honour of being President.

I joined the Association in September 1978 after a 15 year rugby playing career with Lansdowne.  I had 14 very enjoyable years with the whistle travelling the length and breadth of the province and also fortunate to referee abroad in England, United States and Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Having been guided and encouraged by assessors and administrators while blowing the whistle and having got a huge amount of enjoyment at the same time I felt that it was important that I should attempt to pass on my experiences to the next generation of referees

I believe that the ARLB’s referee education process is second to none with regular seminars, workshops, monthly meetings all organised by a dedicated committed group of members. I also believe that if someone joining the Association shows the same commitment there is no reason why he/she should not get to the top of the tree.

I am very confident that the Association is in a position to meet all new, serious and interesting challenges with the necessary innovative planning to ensure its continuing success.

Referee abuse has become a problem of late and I believe severely restricts our ability to attract potential referees and unless it is eradicated will eventually destroy the game we love. The Association will back any referee to the hilt who reports abuse.

Have a great season.

Bryan O’ Neill







Bryan O’Neill
Wayne Sheridan
Pat Carolan
Peter Donnelly
Jim Breen
David MacDonald
Conor Byrne

Current global law trials to be adopted into full law after unanimous Council approval

The World Rugby Council has unanimously decided to adopt into law the complete package of 12 law amendments that are currently under global trial.

Approval follows an approval recommendation by the Rugby Committee after comprehensive evaluation of trial performance from playing, coaching, match officiating, fan and player welfare perspectives by the specialist 15s Laws Review Group (LRG).

With the global law trials having operated since August in the northern hemisphere and January in the southern hemisphere, the amendments come into effect immediately and will be codified with immediate effect.

In short, the law amendments that have been adopted into law are:

  1. Uncontested scrums must have eight players (Law 3.15)
  2. Permit kick to touch after time has elapsed (Law 5.7c)
  3. Where multiple penalty infringements the non-offending team can choose the most advantageous (Law 7.2d)
  4. Penalty try has no conversion (Law 8.1c, 8.3 and 8.7)
  5. Touch, 22m and in goal simplification (Law 18)
  6. Scrum – no signal from ref (Law 19.22)
  7. Scrum – alignment of scrum-half (Law 19.15f)
  8. Scrum – compulsory strike (LRG insist that for player welfare purposes this is a compulsory strike by the hooker (Law 19.22)
  9. Scrum – Allow number eight to pick up from second row of scrum (Law 19.36c)
  10. Tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle gate (Law 14.6)
  11. Change in pre-ruck offside line formation – at least one player on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (Law 14.11)
  12. No kicking out of ruck (Law 15)

We will go into more detail in later articles. The full amendments can be found here