IRFU Referees to put Strong Focus on Penalising Foul Play in Domestic Game

Jason Cairns in AIL actionThe IRFU’s Referees Department will place a renewed focus on existing foul play laws to remove illegal and dangerous collision based contact from domestic competitions in Ireland.

The areas of focus centre on foul play at the tackle, the breakdown and off-the-ball contact.  These offences will be upgraded to penalties and yellow or red cards depending on the severity of the incident.

The aim of this initiative is to soften the impact of the tackle and ruck or maul entry by removing shoulder first or shoulder only contact. i.e. shoulder charging with no attempt or a late attempt to wrap arms upon contact.  There will also be a renewed focus on protecting players in vulnerable or prone positions in rucks and mauls.

The law interpretations will be enforced in all competitions from U13 age grade through to the Ulster Bank League. Under the umbrella of the Ref SMART programme a series of instruction videos have been produced to inform coaches and players of the illegal actions that will be clamped down on this season.  These videos are available online at
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Pre-season Workshop Review

ARCB Pre Season 2016-17 The ARCB began the new season last weekend when all referees, assessors, selectors and committee members met in Corinthians RFC for their annual pre-season meeting. Aidan Siggins from the club greeted the referees and kindly offered them a cup of tea, over which they had an opportunity to discuss their time away from rugby over the summer and how their rigorous fitness regimes were going as they prepared for the new season. Everybody was in good spirits and looking forward to getting back into rugby.

President Louis Cunningham opened the meeting and gave an update on the hard work that had been done during the summer, in preparation for the new season. John Carr, representing the Branch Competitions Committee outlined the league format, changes to the regulations and reemphasised the need for referees to familiarise themselves with the uncontested scrum regulations before taking to the pitch.  Continue reading

ARCB Pre Season Workshop 2016-17 Update

Community Referee Launch 1

The Pre-Season Meeting for 2016-17 will take place on Saturday 13th August 2016 in Corinthians RFC.


  • 9.30  – Registration
  • 10.00 – Start
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 14.30 – Finish

It is very important that you attend this meeting if you wish to be considered for selection in the coming season 2016-17, as there are a number of law changes etc. No referee can be selected for any games in 2016-17 until they have completed the training on these changes etc.

Additionally during registration you will need to complete the IRFU Code of Conduct for the coming season another prerequisite to selection.

The membership fee of €25 can also be paid at registration on the morning and membership cards will be available for all paid up members who supplied a mugshot.

In order that we can plan lunch etc. appropriately, please respond to James Langan ASAP as to whether you will be attending or not.

New Referees Course – September 2016

George Clancy RWC 2015

The Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB) will be holding their next New Referees Course on Sunday 11th September 2016 in the Sportsground from 10.00-16.00.

Why become a referee?

Benefits to you:

  • Stay involved in the game.
  • Keep fit.
  • Learn more about the game.
  • Referee locally, provincially or nationally.
  • Make new friends.
  • Membership of the ARCB.
  • Access to kit.

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Referee Information Evening with John Lacey and Frank Murphy

Wednesday 30th March 2016 @ 7-8pm, The Connacht Hotel

John Lacey

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

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Whistle Blower – February Edition

Connacht Rugby Programme (Feb 27th v Ospreys) – by Damian Eames

The game is three minutes old and Connacht have an attacking line-out on the opposition’s ten metre line. Quick tap of the top and the ball is spun out wide to the backs. The spearhead of our green attack is meet with a fast approaching defensive wall. Across the ground a chorus of “offside Ref”, vibrates out from the Clan Terrace.

In the midst of such an unsympathetic symphony, you might wonder who’d want to be a referee. The answer; how about you? Seriously, what is stopping you? Continue reading

February Members Workshop

Jason Cairns in AIL actionOur next monthly General Members Workshop will take place on Thursday 25th February at 8pm in the The Connacht Hotel (Inishmore Suite). The workshop topic is Communication, please make every effort to attend

January Irish Independent Article

Refs play vital role in ‘grass roots to green shirt’ scheme

by Damian Eames

Damian Eames and Mossy Moran of the ARCB with Paul Cronin of Ardex

Damian Eames and Mossy Moran of the ARCB with Paul Cronin of Ardex

A lot of exciting news this past week for Connacht Rugby. A great win for Pat Lam’s charges in the Challenge Cup. Five players from the province being selected for respective Senior and Under 20 Six Nations squads. Closer to home, the different schools cup competitions are in full swing and producing some exciting rugby.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our increased representation across the different national squads, is a reflection of the investment and targeted work being carried in Connacht. The obvious example would be coaching, from those involved with mini-rugby right up to the provincial elite squads.

Behind the obvious there are many examples of where rugby in Connacht is working hard to be best in class. The quality of our player pipeline is, in part, nurtured through the annual schools cup competitions. This season we have more teams participating across all Senior and Junior Cups. A move away from “knock out” to a “pool” orientated system gives school players the chance to play more games. More games means more referees are needed. Continue reading

IRFU Accepted onto World Rugby’s Raleri Goggles Trial

World Rugby LogoThe Irish Rugby Football Union has been accepted onto the World Rugby Raleri Goggle trial allowing those requiring the use of goggles to now apply to World Rugby to participate in the trial and purchase a pair of Raleri goggles, if accepted onto the trial. 

The IRFU reminds all players, coaches, referees and parents that the trial is limited to the Raleri goggle only, and in accordance with the terms of the World Rugby trial, no other eye-wear will be permitted, for health and safety reasons, in contact forms of the game.

The World Rugby site advises:

“It should be noted that only those Rugby Goggles carrying the official World Rugby Trial Approved logo will be permitted to be used in the trial, and all participants must demonstrate their need for the Rugby Goggles through a letter from their ophthalmologist (or similar expert) stating that there is an ophthalmic or medical need for their use. Inspections and checks may be performed by match referees to ensure that all participants have complied with these conditions.”

The IRFU encourages parents, players, coaches and volunteers to review information available from World Rugby in relation to the trial –

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