Wednesday 28 September 2016

Follow Frank on fast-track to pinnacle of refereeing pyramid

Published 11/03/2016 | 02:30

Frank Murphy, who played over 100 times for Connacht, started refereeing last season and has quickly progressed to the professional game
Frank Murphy, who played over 100 times for Connacht, started refereeing last season and has quickly progressed to the professional game
John Lacey, who played for Munster, refereed at the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Six Nations. Photo: Sportsfile

The growing popularity of rugby across the province and country has brought with it an ever increasing demand for quality referees to officiate at all levels of the game.

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The best people to take up the whistle are those who have knowledge and experience through playing and coaching, and the Association of Referees Connacht Branch are always looking for people to get involved.

Like playing, there are opportunities for progression within refereeing. The IRFU Referee Pathway is clearly defined and advancement is based solely on ability and commitment.

Throughout a referee's career, they are given regular workshops, one to one coaching and continuous support and feedback to ensure they reach their potential.

Progressed

Over the past few seasons, several former players have taken up the whistle and progressed to the highest level.

John Lacey, who played for Munster, refereed at the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Six Nations.

Frank Murphy, who played over 100 times for Connacht, started refereeing last season and has quickly progressed to the professional game.

Former Irish women's captain, Joy Neville, is currently refereeing on the Sevens World Series.

Beneath the elite level, there are 50 referees on the IRFU National Panel and approximately 550 provincial association referees in the country.

For those who would just like to referee and be involved in the game at a local level, this season, the ARCB, in conjunction with the IRFU and Connacht Rugby, have implemented a Community Referee grade within their ranks.

Unlike regular recruits, who referee matches at all levels across the province, Community Referees are be ring-fenced for youth rugby in their locality. Ideal candidates should be reasonably fit, have a good understanding of the game and be available to referee.

So whether you have ambitions to climb the refereeing ladder or you just want to give back to the game locally, there is a role for you in the ARCB.

The Connacht Referee Information Evening on March 30 is open to anyone who is considering involvement through refereeing.

Seán Gallagher from the IRFU Referee Department will be on hand to talk you through the process of becoming a referee and Lacey and Murphy will give you an insight into being a referee in Ireland.

If you are interested in attending the information evening, please send an email to sean.gallagher@irfu.ie to register your interest, or call him on 086-1735096.

The next New Referees Course will be in September, at the beginning of the new season.

Irish Independent

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