Sean Gallagher from Navan RFC is in his first season as an IRFU panel referee and at 21 years of age it is a great achievement…

Achieving promotion to the IRFU National Panel was a goal Sean had set for himself at the beginning of last season and he got the call up to referee his first AIL fixture in October 2009. It was the Division 3 clash between Barnhall RFC and Nenagh Ormond RFC in Parsonstown, Leixlip it was a tight scoring game that finished 16-16.

The step up to AIL provides a new challenge, he said: “I am well prepared following four seasons refereeing top quality rugby in the Leinster League under the guidance of the Leinster Rugby Referees”.

“The enjoyment I get from refereeing at this level comes with the continued opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge of the game through the IRFU coaching system. There is also the chance to visit clubs throughout the provinces and referee the best teams, representing the Leinster Rugby Referees and my own club Navan RFC.”

The highlight of his first year to date was refereeing Sundays Well against Seapoint in Musgrave Park, a great match on a historic pitch. The interprovincial youth competitions at the beginning of the season are a chance to see the best up and coming players in action and he was appointed to four of these fixtures. He is looking forward to his next game in January, travelling to Nenagh to referee them against Wanderers.

Sean says: “The opportunities that refereeing has provided me at such a young age have been brilliant and I would encourage anyone interested in refereeing to give it a go”.