Referees Corner 2020/21, Leinster v Dragons

June 14, 2021 in News

Welcome to the final referees corner of the season. What a strange season it has been with little or no refereeing on the pitch but plenty of action and education off the pitch. It is great to hear that 1200 supporters will be allowed into the RDS for this game. We’re also delighted that IRFU and Leinster are getting to introduce rugby back to clubs.

We, unfortunately, said goodbye to two former Presidents of the Leinster Rugby Referees in the last couple of weeks. It is with great sadness that we learned of the news of the passing of Jerome Counihan (2009-2010), on May 26th. Many of you will have been acquainted with Jerome throughout his time with the organisation and Monkstown F.C. and will have many fond memories of him. Our sympathies go to his wife Lorna and sons Jerome D. and Shane. We then learned of the passing of our oldest member, David Bell (1966-67) on May 31st in his 102nd year. David will be fondly remembered by all who knew him, especially those in Lansdowne FC and The Association of Referees (Leinster Branch). Our sympathies go to his family Paul, David and Cathy Anne. May the both Rest in Peace.

Keeping the Show on the Road

A massive shout out must go to our area representatives Tom Colton, John Dunne, Joe Mc Dermot, Paddy Curran and Kevin Mc Dermot for the great work that they have done in keeping the show on the road. Coupled with Sean Gallagher and Sam Holt they delivered every monthly meeting this year and helped educate and keep our referees focused during the season. In the background our Referees Committee and various management teams led by President David Robb and David MacDonald have helped tremendously with facilitating these meetings. Massive thanks must also go to Hayley Whyte in the office for her hard work. 

We are delighted to see the return of rugby across the country and with it the importance of our roles as a match official of the game. In order to ensure that everyone is up to speed and ready to embark on a new season the IRFU have sent a ‘Return to Refereeing’ course to all match officials. Completing this course is compulsory for all match officials (including referees, touch judges, evaluators, referee coaches and mentors) in order to re-commence officiating post-COVID-restriction times. It is a superb course, broken into 8 modules that you can work through at your own pace. Each module contains interactive elements, ‘Knowledge Checks’ and videos, culminating in a final Course Quiz which you must pass in order to complete the course and achieve the IRFU Return to Refereeing certificate. Thankfully I passed mine and I’m ready for the Annual Seminar in August and the new season!!! 

Have you just finished playing and find yourself wondering how you can stay involved in rugby? Or maybe the recent pandemic has opened your eyes to your free time and flexibility and has you looking for a new challenge. Then perhaps refereeing is the next step for you. Increasingly, more and more players who have decided to hang up the boots are continuing their rugby journey by taking up the whistle.

Why? Refereeing is an excellent way to maintain your fitness level after you retire. You are still getting out on the pitch and enjoying the game from the best seat in the house. Your playing experience will certainly also stand to you in terms of your ability to read the game and in understanding what the players are trying to achieve.

All of the provincial associations/societies have members who are former players, and they referee at all levels from underage right up to the All Ireland League. Some have even progressed into High Performance and officiate at the highest level. Andrew Brace, Frank Murphy, Alain Rolland and Joy Neville all enjoyed distinguished playing careers before taking up the whistle. 

If you only wish to referee in your own club or school then the Affiliate Referee Scheme is for you. The Affiliate Referee course can be done online and is available on the IRFU website.

We will have details of upcoming courses over the summer.

Want to get involved? 


Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at  If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our Facebook pages, our website or through twitter @leinsterreferee.