The Leinster Rugby Referees annual seminar took place on the 15th August in St Mary’s College RFC…

Fran Nolan (President, Association of Referees Leinster Branch) opened the seminar by welcoming everyone and thanked Michael Fanagan (Vice President, St Mary’s College RFC) for the use of their magnificent facilities. Michael replied by saying he was very honoured that the Referees had chosen Templeville Road as the venue for the seminar.

The M.C for the day G.P. Maher started proceedings by introducing the first speakers Leinster prop Stan Wright and IRFU referee Dudley Phillips who gave a talk on scrum protocol. It was very informative to listen to an international player and his insight into front row play, but he did not give away too many front row secrets! Stan added his south sea island charm and wit to the discussions which followed.

Dave McHugh (IRFU Referee Department) gave an update on all the law interpretations for this season. He stressed that consistency was very important in every aspect of today’s game and that referees have a part to play.

Karl Gilligan of KG Elite Performance gave an excellent presentation on Fitness, nutrition and injury prevention. This season a number of the top referees in Leinster will avail of Karl’s programme and the association’s international referees Alain Rolland and Alan Lewis have benefited from Karl’s programme.

Michael Carroll (Chairman of the Rugby Committee) gave an update on the new management and administration structure in place for the Leinster Rugby Referees and it is hoped that the knowledge from members in their own professions will be put to use within the organisation

The afternoon session started with a talk by IRFU referee Kevin Beggs on one of the most talked-about incidents on a rugby pitch the use of red and yellow cards and the procedure that follows after the game is over, which is the report writing and the disciplinary hearing.

Brendan Jenkinson (Chairman of Senior selection) gave an update on the grading structure which to lay people is the different levels at which referees can officiate at.

Leinster Rugby Referees President Fran Nolan (Greystones RFC) presented tankards to referees who had officiated at their first finals last season.

To finish the seminar one of the best referees to have ever officiated on the international stage Brian Stirling from the Ulster Society of Rugby Football Referees told stories of different experiences he had encountered during his career from players to coaches.

He encouraged young referees to listen to advice given from senior referees. He said that no matter what level you referee at it is all much appreciated and that it matters at grassroots levels as well as the international stage and the same enjoyment should be derived from it.