Referees Corner – Issue 2 – Edinburgh – 2023/23

November 14, 2023 in News

Welcome to another edition of referees corner and a very warm welcome to todays match referee Marius van der Westhuizen supported by Keane Davison and Jonathon Erskine. Marius was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He started refereeing first class matches in 2011, making his debut in the 2011 Vodacom Cup match between the Free State Cheetahs and the Falcons in Bloemfontein and took charge of ten matches in the 2011 Under-19 and Under-21 Provincial Championships. He was named on SANZAR‘s referee list for the 2014 Super Rugby season and was in charge of his first Super Rugby match when the Lions met the Crusaders in Johannesburg. He also officiated at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He refereed Leinster v Glasgow Warriors last season. We wish him and his team a warm welcome today.


A few of our referees had a very busy summer, namely Andrew Cole, Robbie Jenkinson and Brian MacNeice who represented the Leinster Rugby Referees at the Rugby World Cup in his capacity as TMO. Brian was also involved in the Rugby Championship game between South Africa and Argentina and their World Cup warm up game along with the warm up games between England and Wales, France and Fiji and South Africa and New Zealand. 


Andrew was in South Africa for the U18 Craven Week rugby competition. In Andrew’s own words “Over the summer, I was selected by the IRFU to referee at a competition called Craven Week, in George, South Africa.  The competition is an U18 event for their provincial teams which included the likes of Bulls, Cheetahs, Western Province etc. It is a week-long tournament running from Monday to Saturday, in which each team plays a total of 3 matches. 


It was an intense week with lots of rugby, I refereed a match on Monday, Wednesday & Saturday, while also ARing two games on both Tuesday and Thursday. It was a really good opportunity to learn on the go and implement identified improvements in a short turn around. The matches were broadcasted live on Supersport which meant we had a TMO for each match, which was a valuable experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reffing in a different nation and will look to use my learnings going forward “


Robbie was in Denver Colorado for the Rugby Town 7s, also at the Amsterdam 7s and also involved in the U18 7s Rugby European Championship. In Robbies own words “I was very fortunate to spend the summer refereeing 7s rugby, traveling to Amsterdam for the Amsterdam 7s, Macolin in Switzerland for the u18 men’s 7s European Championship & Denver in the USA for the Glendale 7s. Each tournament was incredible in its own right, giving me some valuable experience in 7s & allowing me to test my body in all sorts of demanding climates. Meeting other referees & people from around the world and getting to experience things outside of rugby like sightseeing in different cities, hiking & golfing in the Rockies and cable cars overlooking the Alps in Switzerland are the things that make these tournaments and the sore legs from all the running all the more memorable.”


Well done to all 3 referees on representing the Leinster Rugby Referees and their country. We also extend congratulations to Andrew Brace on his appointment to the 3rd/4th place playoff at the Rugby World Cup as well as Joy Neville and Chris Busby on their appointments. Well done also to Wayne Barnes on his final appointment. He follows in the footsteps of Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia, 1987), Derek Bevan (Wales, 1991), Andre Watson (South Africa, 1999 and 2003), Alain Rolland (Ireland, 2007), Craig Joubert (South Africa, 2011), Nigel Owens (Wales, 2015) and Jérôme Garcès (France, 2019). He has been an amazing ambassador for our game and for refereeing. 


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, our website or through twitter @leinsterreferee.