Referees Corner – Issue 9 – Toulon

April 4, 2021 in News

Welcome to another issue of Referees Corner. A very warm welcome to today’s officiating team of Matthew Carley (RFU), Chris Busby (IRFU/USRFR), Sean Gallagher (IRFU/ARLB) and TMO Tom Foley (RFU). 


It has been great to see the progress of Chris and Sean over the last few years since becoming full time professional referees in the IRFU. Both have featured regularly on the Pro 14 circuit this season. Obviously everyone in the Leinster Rugby Referees are proud of Seans achievements and continued growth.


Matthew Carley is a member of the RFU Referees Panel and refereed his first professional game in 2013. He has been an active official in the Six Nations since 2017. His first European match was in 2015 between Munster and Benetton. This was quickly followed by World Rugby appointing him for his first international fixture, between Russia and USA. His first Tier One match was in 2017, between Scotland and New Zealand. Matthew also officiated the opening round of the 2021 Six Nations championship fixture between Italy and France. His first Six Nations game as referee was in the same fixture in 2019. He was also a reserve/assistant referee at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Tom Foley is originally from South Wales and played rugby from a young age, but following a string of injuries took up refereeing while completing his degree at Bristol University. He joined the Bristol Referee Society in 2007 and progressed through the ranks, being promoted onto the South West Group in 2009 and National Panel in 2011. He was appointed to join the RFU as a full-time referee in 2014.

We wish the team well.


We had some excellent Area Meetings in March facilitated by the IRFU Refereeing Department and our own Sam Holt. These were the final area meetings of the year and massive thanks must go to Sam Holt and Sean Gallagher who kept these going throughout the season, whilst there was very little refereeing to be done. The sessions help our referees stay connected and educated during the season. The topic this month was  Game Management and this tied in nicely with the content covered with Harry Harpur in last month’s IRFU Seminar. That session pulled together all the learning from our previous excellent sessions with David Gough and Tadgh McIntyre.  Here’s hoping that we can put all we have learned in these sessions into play next season when we get back out on the pitch. 


It was great to see Hollie Davidson take charge of Munster’s game against Benetton in the Pro14 on Friday 19 March. After becoming Scottish Rugby Union’s first full-time professional women’s referee in 2017 at just 24-years-old, the Pro14 fixture was the first top tier men’s game that she refereed and she had a super game. It is great to see more and more female officials join the refereeing ranks and we are delighted in Leinster to have many female officials refereeing on a weekly basis.


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