Welcome to the final installment of Referees Corner in what has been a long and momentous season for Leinster. We’re all looking forward to next week’s European Cup Final and hopefully a URC Final to follow. Sadly neither require musings from Referees Corner.
A very warm welcome to Frank Murphy, today’s match referee and his team. Frank is a former rugby player. Originally from Cork, Murphy played for his native province of Munster before moving to the English side Leicester Tigers, with whom he won a Premiership title, and then finished his career with Connacht, another Irish province, making over 100 appearances for the side.
He began refereeing in the All-Ireland League in 2015, progressing to referee in the British and Irish Cup later that year. He began refereeing at international level in 2016, and has taken charge of games in the European Nations Cup. In November 2016, Murphy took charge of his first Pro12 game, and has since gone on to referee in the Challenge Cup at European level. Today is Frank’s 10th time refereeing Leinster where we have won 5 and lost 4. It is his 4th time refereeing this fixture, the last being round 18 last season. Today he is ably assisted by his IRFU Referee colleagues Andrew Brace of Munster and Chris Busby of Ulster with Ben Whitehouse from Wales in the TMO booth. We wish them all well.
End of a Season
We’ve had a superb season at the Leinster Rugby Referees with a full return to normality, in person meetings, annual dinners, golf outings and plenty of fun along the way. Our area representatives as always are the cornerstone of the volunteering effort. From selections, talent identification, organizing our area meetings, attending branch area meetings, and attending Executive monthly meetings to mention but a few of the activities. And on top of which several of our area representatives are still active on the pitch. To David Jenkins, Barry Redmond, John Kerr, Paddy Curran, and Ian Hayes a massive debt of gratitude is owed to all of you. Also to mention is Trevor McHugh who has been of great assistance in the midlands supporting Paddy Curran.
During the season we made over 4,500 appointments. We now have over 225 referees, including 10 females, who are full active members of the Leinster Rugby Referees. We brought over 50 trial members on board of which over 30 are now full members. We had 28 mentors in place to support new and existing referees completing over 150 referee reports. During the season, Jim Breen and his sub-committee deployed approximately 20 evaluators. In total we made over 300 evaluation appointments for our referees ensuring that we maintain high standard and accuracy. Jim has been a tremendous asset to our evaluation team and is sadly stepping down at the end of the season.
Apart from our 227 active referees, our thanks must go to those volunteers who gave up their time to support the match officials. These number about 80 individuals covering activities such as panel management, mentoring, evaluation, coaching and administration. We should also continue to acknowledge the work of Hayley Whyte and Sean Gallagher, who never fail to go above and beyond the call of duty in the interests of rugby refereeing in Leinster.
Take Up the Whistle
Have you just finished playing and find yourself wondering how you can stay involved in rugby or planning on retiring at the end of this season? 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.
If you are thinking about giving refereeing a try, feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at email@example.com If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our Facebook, our Twitter account @leinsterreferee or Instagram @leinsterrugbyreferees