On the morning of the Ireland v France match last weekend 12 young referees were invited by the IRFU Referees Department to attend a SWOT session…

Owen Doyle (Director of the IRFU Referees Department) opened proceedings by thanking all in attendance and hoped that they took something from the session.

Of the 12 attendees there was a big representation from Leinster Rugby Referees namely; Ken Henley-Willis, Ed Kenny, Barry O’Keeffe, Eanna O’Dowd, Dermot Blake and Sean Gallagher.

The facilitator for the session was G.P. Maher (Leinster Rugby Referees). The purpose of the session was to encourage young referees to identify what they saw as their strengths and weaknesses. In addition they were asked to identify the opportunities as match officials and finally to highlight what threats might exist to delay their progress.

At the conclusion of the session G.P. Maher requested that each referee highlight short, medium and longer term targets for themselves as match officials.

It is hoped to allow more referees access to this type of seminar because it encourages team work and also the get them thinking about how far they might progress in the game and the professional and personal commitments required for them down the line.

Also in attendance at the session from the IRFU Referees Department was David McHugh – a former international referee.