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.
It would be remiss of us not to give John Lacey a mention. Our Munster and Ireland refereeing colleague has decided to retire from test officiating to take up a high performance Referee coaching and talent identification role with the IRFU.
One of the most-capped test referees in Irish rugby history, the former Shannon and Munster player has taken charge of 37 tests between 2010 and 2018, and officiated four matches at Rugby World Cup 2015. He took charge of his final international when Argentina faced the Barbarians at Twickenham on 1 December but will continue to officiate at European and Pro 14 level until the end of the current season before taking up his new role. John has been an inspiration to many referees that have taken up the whistle in the last number of years. He is always there to lend a hand, have a few words of advice or encouragement or in my own case lend some touch flags when you left yours in Dublin and you are about to referee your first interpro. Everyone in Leinster Rugby Referees would like to wish John the best in his retirement and we look forward to working with him over the coming years.
We were delighted to welcome Ben O’Keffee and Nic Berry to a recent referees meeting. Both referees were in town to officiate at the Ireland v USA game, Nic had officiated Ireland v Argentina a few weeks previous. Ben is s a New Zealand professional rugby union referee. He currently referees at domestic, Super Rugby and test match level. He currently also practices ophthalmology (kudos to David MacDonald for his excellent pronunciation) and is the co-founder of the social enterprise oDocs Eye Care which aims at creating medical technology to prevent blindness.
Nic is an Australian rugby union referee and a former professional player. He took up refereeing after being forced to retire from playing in 2012 due to a series of concussions. After taking up the whistle he has become one of the few former Super Rugby players to also have referred a match in the Super Rugby. He played professionally for Queensland, Racing and WASPs.
A very enjoyable evening was had by all and the two referees answered multiple questions from our MC David MacDonald and our referees. It was also great to see both referees hang around after and meet everyone.
Finally, congratulations to our recent graduates Colm Gavin, Audrey Fulham, Aurthur Dupont, Mark McDonagh, Marias van Zyl. They were presented with their jerseys at a recent Metro meeting and will now take the next step in their refereeing careers. 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 http://tinyurl.com/y9qus2uu
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 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.