An extremely warm welcome to today’s match official team, and another hopefully cracking derby game with Ulster. A warm welcome also to our good friend and trusted colleague George Clancy from the Munster Association of Referees. George has refereed 46 International Rugby Union tests, and refereed at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. He has also refereed 65 European Cup games (4th on the all-time list), 17 European Challenge Cup games (including the 2009 & 2011 finals) and 90 Pro 12 games, as well as refereeing at two Junior World Cups and the Hong Kong, Paris and London 7s. He is no strange to derby fixtures and he is a firm favorite here in the RDS.
With Christmas the domestic season took a short break but for our National Panel referees the break is a short one. Many are coming off European Cup games in and were be straight into the PRO 14 Christmas season. Most games held at this time of year are derby games which will see Irish referees referee Irish provinces. At any one game 4 or 5 referees from Ireland will be involved and today is no different.
We will be holding a new recruits course, hopefully in January. Anyone interested should make contact with us through our website, one the date has been announced. Keep an eye out on our website for more details. Last year over 25 new referees joined the ranks of the Leinster Rugby Referees. Most recently Eoin Tighe and Mitch Enderby received their jerseys from Vice President Bryan O’Neill following their election into the Leinster Rugby Referees.
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, Guinness 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? Every referee you see on TV started out at a recruits course.
Tickets – Referees are allowed to apply for international and provincial match tickets.
Schools Cup about to hit town
The first thing most referees look forward to after the Christmas period is the Bank of Ireland sponsored Leinster Schools Senior and Junior Challenge Cups. The draw in December kicks this off, but it is the selection of referees that is greatly anticipated. Refereeing a schools cup game, be it on the great new surface in Donnybrook, the RDS, or any other club in Leinster is one of the highlights or any referees career. Not every referee gets to do one so being selected makes it a bit more special. Some referees may never have played to that level in schools, some may not have played rugby in schools at all and some are reliving past glories on the D4 pitch. Whilst any schools cup game is special for the players, it is equally special for the referee. Some referees may never be lucky enough to referee a game in front of a big crowd again, others may never referee on TV again, so it is an opportunity to be cherished.
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.