Leinster Match Program 2018/19 – Article 1

September 15, 2018 in Match Program

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.

The main focus of this year’s seminar was the Global Law Trials from World Rugby which are now in law. The Global Law Trials were approved by World Rugby Council for adoption into law with effect from May 16th 2018. Thankfully IRFU Professional Referee Sean Gallagher was on hand to talk through these law changes. We thank Sean 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. Before the seminar concluded IRFU Panel Referee Paul Haycock gave a short but effective presentation on fitness, a key refereeing component.

Many thanks go to Denis Collins our Leinster rugby referee administrator and the admin committee for their work and also Lansdowne FC for their facilities. Finally well done to our tankards winners (Padraic Hearns, Colm Burkley, Jamie Webster, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Eugene Canavan, Andrew Sheehan, Jeremy Clarke)  and to Berney White on his Referee of the Year award from 2017/18 which was presented to him by our President Bryan O’Neill. Congratulations also go to Colm Roche on his promotion to the IRFU National Panel.


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


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

  • Uncontested scrums must have eight players (Law 3.15)
  • Permit kick to touch after time has elapsed (Law 5.7c)
  • Where multiple penalty infringements the non-offending team can choose the most advantageous (Law 7.2d)
  • Penalty try has no conversion (Law 8.1c, 8.3 and 8.7)
  • Touch, 22m and in goal simplification (Law 18)
  • Scrum – no signal from ref (Law 19.22)
  • Scrum – alignment of scrum-half (Law 19.15f)
  • Scrum – compulsory strike (LRG insist that for player welfare purposes this is a compulsory strike by the hooker (Law 19.22)
  • Scrum – Allow number eight to pick up from second row of scrum (Law 19.36c)
  • Tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle gate (Law 14.6)
  • 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)
  • No kicking out of ruck (Law 15)

We hope to look through these changes in more detail in future articles.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming prospective referees to our New Referees Seminar in Terenure College in September. The seminar was “sold out” so to speak which is a clear sign that refereeing is as popular as ever in Leinster.

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.