Saturday 24 February 2018

One ref enough -- McEnaney

PAT McEnaney will link up with Australia's Brett Rosebury to referee Saturday's International Rules game but would not support a similar two-handed approach in Gaelic games, WRITES MARTIN BREHENY.

But he would favour giving linesmen more authority than is currently the case in the GAA.

"I don't think that two referees are needed in our own games and anyway, I don't think it would work very well. I would be all in favour, though, of giving our linesmen more power," he said.

"They should be allowed to call technical fouls. There are times when they will have a better view than the referee, so they should be allowed to make the call."

McEnaney, the most experienced referee on the GAA circuit, enjoys the two-handed approach to International Rules but reckons it wouldn't work in Gaelic games.

"It would lead to confusion. Anyway, I don't think it's necessary. Our referees are fit enough to keep up with play, but they could do with more help from other officials if that was allowed," he said.

McEnaney is officiating his fifth International Rules series, having made his debut in 2000. The mixed game has been through some troubled times in the interim, although McEnaney wasn't involved in any of the more controversial games.

"It needed more passion and drive. You can have that without having any of the nasty stuff we saw in the past. It's a good game when played in the right spirit and at the right tempo. You'd have to be impressed with the way Australia played. They're quick and mobile and use the ball very well," he said.

Meanwhile, supporters attending Croke Park on Saturday will welcome the changed numbering on the Irish jerseys.

The gold numbers on the jerseys used last Saturday were impossible to read at distance and drew sharp criticism from irate followers. They will be replaced with much darker numbering for the second Test.

Irish Independent

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