Paul O'Connell encourages involvement in rugby refereeing

Former Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has outlined the importance of refereeing in rugby and has urged people to get involved in a bid to "give something back to the game".

Those interested can do so in Mallow GAA Club on Sunday where the next Munster Rugby Referees Level 1 course commences at 10am.

The course is overlooked by the Munster Assocition of Referees and is being facilitated by IRFU Referee Development Manager Peter Fitzgibbon.

O'Connell, now undertaking an advisory role with the Munster Academy, has said how officials mentored him throughout his career. The likes of Alan Lewis and Alain Rolland served as valuable sources of knowledge on certain aspects of the game.

Today, Johnny Lacey is still O'Connell's “go to guy” for interpretation on the technical aspects of the game if he sees a questionable call while watching Super Rugby or Premiership rugby.

The 36-year old, who has strongly supported the Munster Association of Referees, mentioned that need for referees in both Munster and Ireland and has recognised "how difficult a job" it is and how respect for the officials is paramount.

“From a very young age in rugby you are taught this important aspect or rugby”.

Both males and females are encouraged to get involved whether it be the general refereeing path or supporting clubs at a local level through community refereeing.

All information can be found on the Munster Association of Referees


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