Referees Corner – Issue 2 – Zebre Parma – 2021/22

October 11, 2021 in News

Welcome to another edition of Referees Corner. With the season in full swing we’re very much looking forward to getting back together at our Area Meetings and to finally getting back to meeting indoors. All meetings will be held under IRFU and Sport Ireland guidelines and it is great to see another step onwards normality. This month we will focus on foul play and also take a look at some examples of the Global Laws Trials in action over the last few weeks. We will be circulating some clips or incidents during each meeting and having a discussion on each incident and identifying potential outcomes. 

Congratulations to Sean Gallagher who was appointed to the Canada v Chile Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifier – Ulsters Chris Busby was in the middle.

Today’s referee is Sam Grove-White from the Scottish Rugby Union. Sam was picked as a referee for the World Rugby Sevens Series of 2016-17 season.This has continued through to the 2018-19 season. Grove-White has refereed in the Under 20 Six Nations, most recently Ireland v Italy and he has also referred in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also has experience refereeing in the Japanese League as part of a Scottish Rugby Union initiative to create links with Scotland and Japan and also in the MLR in North America. He is assisted today by IRFU referees Peter Martin and Oisin Quinn and SRU TMO Neil Patterson.

It was great to see Sarah Cox, became the first woman to referee a Premiership game when she took charge of Harlequins’ clash against Worcester a couple of weeks ago. She was the first first female referee to be centrally contracted by the Rugby Football Union in 2016, and last year became the first female assistant referee in English rugby’s top flight. She hopes that aspiring male and female referees will embrace a “no barrier to entry” approach in rugby union. Another great example is former French international and current French international referee Aurélie Groizeleau who signed a semi-professional contract with the Fédération Française de Rugby on 1 September and dreams of officiating at Rugby World Cup 2021.

Leinster Rugby Referees have led the way in Ireland for many years in women in refereeing with the likes of Aoife McCarthy and Helen O’Reilly making international break throughs and others like Susan Carty, Audrey Fulham, Hayley Whyte actively refereeing on a weekly basis along with Rose Alice Murphy who is on our Referees Committee and Katie Byrne who is currently on IPAS and looking to make it through to the National Panel.  There is of course always room for more so please get in touch if you are interested. 

Referees provide a vital function in servicing all levels of the game. Refereeing is also a fantastic hobby and is increasingly becoming a genuine alternative to playing the game.

Whether you have aspirations to referee at the highest level or to referee locally, there is a place for you. There are excellent support structures in place to develop referees and a thriving social aspect too.

There are a number of benefits to becoming a referee:

  • Refereeing is a great way to stay involved in the game. You are in the thick of the action on the pitch.
  • Fitness is a key element to refereeing and provides our referees with a great incentive to maintain their fitness.
  • Education is an ongoing part of being a referee.
  • There are monthly meetings to keep all referees up to date with all aspects of the law.
  • This means our referees are constantly learning and up to date with the latest law changes and interpretations.
  • Whatever level you aspire to referee at there is a place for you – refereeing underage games in your area, or adult games throughout your province.
  • For referees who perform at a consistently high level there are opportunities to referee nationally in the Energia All Ireland League.
  • There is an excellent social aspect to refereeing. You will meet a broad range of new people and forge new friendships.
  • You will gain membership to your provincial association/society. Benefits of this include access to tickets.



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, our website or through twitter @leinsterreferee.