January General Members Meeting


Wednesday 25th January

The Connacht Hotel – Ryan Room

8-9pm – General Members – Guest Speaker – Kevin Beggs – TMO

Kevin will do a ‘behind the scenes’ presentation on what it’s like to be a TMO in the professional game. It will include clips which will generate discussion on foul play and the decision making process. Kevin also works for the IRFU Participation Rugby Department and will do a short presentation on Tag Rugby Refereeing.

New Referees Course – Jan 2017



08 January 2017, Sportsground

The Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB) will be holding our next New Referees Course on Sunday 08th January 2017 in the Sportsground.

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.

Benefits to the game and the players:

  • Safe and controlled.
  • Structured.
  • Neutral referees.
  • Enhanced playing experience.
  • Values of the game are maintained.

I’m interested!

Seán Gallagher is the IRFU Referee Development Officer in Connacht and he would be delighted to talk you through what is involved in becoming a referee. His mobile is 086 1735096 or you can reach him by e-mail at sean.gallagher@irfu.ie


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 www.irishrugby.ie/rugbysmart.
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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.

Continue reading

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