On a weekend when Joy Neville refereed the final between Australia and New Zealand in the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series tournament in Sydney, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) hosted a female referee recruitment course at the Leinster Branch in UCD.

The course was overseen and delivered by IRFU Referee Development Manager David O'Brien, (main picture) and was set up with the assistance of the Leinster Women's Committee and Su Carty (pictured below right) who is co-chair of the IRFU Women's Steering Group.


The course was very well attended with more than 20 potential new female referees signing up.

"This was a fantastic turnout which showed great buy-in and enthusiasm from those who attended. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Su Carty and Lorna Byrne of the Leinster Women's Committee in pushing this forward and generating great interest within the clubs,” said O’Brien.

"This is a significant step forward in increasing the numbers of women referees and we hope that this can help generate increased interest in refereeing into next season and beyond."

These new recruits will now enter into the beginner pathways within the Association of Referees Leinster Branch and will receive ongoing mentoring and support as they start out as referees.

"This was a really successful day as we look to develop female refereeing talent in Ireland. The profile of some of our leading female referees such as Joy Neville and Helen O'Reilly has shown there is a clear pathway for women interested in refereeing in both the women's and men's game,” added IRFU Head of Referees Dudley Phillips.

For more information on becoming a referee in Ireland, click here.

Photo credit: INPHO