The Leinster Rugby Referees' annual seminar took place on August 15 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 their venue.
The MC for the day, GP 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!
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 for the Leinster Rugby Referees and it is hoped that knowledge from members in their own professions will be put to use in the organisation.
The afternoon session started with a talk by IRFU referee Kevin Beggs on 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. 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 officiated on the international stage Brian Stirling, from the Ulster Society of Rugby Football Referees, told stories of his experiences and encouraged young referees to listen to advice given from senior colleagues. He said the same enjoyment should be derived from refereeing at grassroots levels as on the international stage.