Referees Corner – Issue 8 – Racing Metro – 2022/23

January 21, 2023 in News

A warm welcome to today’s issue of Referees Corner. It is always an exciting day when European Rugby arrives at the Aviva. I hope everyone is looking forward to today’s game. Today’s match referee is no stranger to Leinster, Matthew Carley (England). Matthew 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. He was the man in the middle when Toulon visited us in 2021. Mathew will be assisted by Craig Maxwell-Keys (England), Gareth Holsgrove (England) and TMO: Ian Tempest (England).


We have a couple of Leinster Rugby Referees out officiating today. Andrew Cole and Paul Haycock are in Bordeaux assisting Frank Murphy in the Bordeaux v Gloucester game. We wish them well also. 


Finbar Murphy RIP.

We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of our refereeing colleague Finbar Murphy on 26th December. Finbar refereed with distinction for the ARLB in the 1990’s & 2000’s out of the Midlands Area and Longford RFC. He was also a distinguished GAA referee. To Finbar’s wife,  Geraldine, his daughter, sons and extended family, we at the Leinster Rugby Referees offer our sincerest condolences. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


North Midlands Refereeing Update


The North Midlands area has now expanded to include Blessington RFC, so it is now nine clubs and we are always looking for more referees in the area. The refereeing team in the North Midlands referred 3 finals on December 31st including the U18 Area final along with the Lalor and Hosie Cups. We provided teams of 5 for all finals.  Otherwise it has been a very busy season on the pitch with most youth games and all adult requests covered which is a great achievement. We also have one new trainee due to do his trial shortly. We wish him well.


Speaking of trials and new referees Leinster Rugby Referees held a New Referees Course in the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy on Saturday 14, January 2023. The course was open to those aged 18 – 59, who would like to take up refereeing as a hobby and become members of Leinster Rugby Referees. We had a superb turnout and will provide a report on same in due course. Thanks to Sean Gallagher of the IRFU for running the show. 


Katie Byrne


As the Vodafone Women’s Interpro Series is underway, Leinster Rugby is focusing on some of the unsung heroes making the girls and the women’s game tick across the 12 counties of Leinster. There is a great interview with our referee Katie Byrne on our and the Leinster Rugby website, it is well worth a read. One of my favorite quotes from the interview is…

“I hated when people cheated. I hated when players cut corners. The rules are put in place to push for fairness. I just hated when players didn’t follow them.

“It is also part of my make-up to have very good attention to detail. That helps on the pitch, in terms of spotting things. It is the same in my job in marketing, spotting mistakes.

“It translates into reffing. You are watching the finer details of the game all the time on the pitch, things other people might not notice.”

Keep up the great work Katie!!!


Want to get involved? 

Referees provide a vital function in servicing all levels of the game. Whether you aspire to referee at the highest level or to referee locally, there is a place for you. There are excellent support structures to develop referees and a thriving social aspect too. 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.