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


Annual Seminar Review

What a turnout!!! Great to see over 160 referees, assessors and members pack into Lansdowne FC for this years Annual Referee Seminar, to kickstart 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.

Thank you to Sean Gallagher for his excellent presentation, coupled with that of Dudley Phillips, Head of Referees IRFU. It was also great to see Alain Rolland back at our seminar and we thank him for his presentation and warm words. Paul Haycock gave a short but effective presentation on fitness – please get in contact with Denis to get on the group.

Thanks to Denis and the admin committee for their work and also Lansdowne FC for their facilities. Finally well done to our tankards winners and to Berney White on his Referee of the Year award from last season.

Annual Seminar


Annual Seminar
Lansdowne FC
(by kind permission)
Sunday 19th August

8:00 – 12:00

*Parking available in local vicinity on road.

Become a referee

If you are interested in joining the Leinster Rugby Referees please continue to the application process page.

Our Annual Seminar will be held on August 19th in Lansdowne FC.

Our next Recruits Course will be held in Terenure College on September 8th .  Please contact for more details.

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, Rabo Direct Pro 12 League and the Ulster Bank 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.

Damian Poder Memorial Match

Well done to everyone involved in the Leinster Rugby Referees v Merrion Cricket Club charity game in memory of our refereeing colleague Damian Poder. Congratulations referees to Captain Brian MacNeice on a memorable win. The referees presented jerseys to Merrion CC following the game.

Marble City 7’s

Kilkenny RFC are looking for Referees  to officiate at “Marble City Sevens 2018”

Date;  Sat June 30th

Venue:   Kilkenny RFC

One day sevens event with 32 teams. ( Mens and Womens Teams)

KO:  12.00 noon till 20;30pm

Referees required for times that suit them

All day, early kick offs, evening etc


Marble City Sevens is one of the best run Sevens events in Ireland and its because of the involvement of ARLB referees, that teams return year after year.

If any Referee requires Overnight Accomodation for Sat 30th, could they please indicate this when replying.

(Accomodation not guaranteed, but we should be able to look after them)

Contact if referees wish to come to Kilkenny and officiate on the day