Tell us a little about yourself: age, place of birth, current occupation.
—49. Wiltshire, England. Director of Operations for a water treatment and irrigation company.
What is you background as a rugby player?
—Started playing at age 7 at school in England, and have not missed a season since.
I am now the President of the Florida Rugby Referees' Association and a USA Rugby Territorial
Referee Performance Reviewer.
Why did you decide to become a referee?
—I was correctly sanctioned as a coach for verbally abusing a referee and decided it was time
to "put up or shut up".
Did you have some kind of mentor?
—As a referee - Gerry Fitzgerald and Terry Day.
As a Performance Reviewer- David Metcalfe.
Do you remember your first game as a referee? How did it go? Any funny or special memory?
—Gainsville v Palm Beach. I though it went Ok, but Gerry was watching and he said "at least you looked
smart and everyone could hear you."
What was the most memorable screw up?
—As Performance Reviewers we are miked up so we can listen to the refs during the match. I was evaluating the referee for the Collegiate Premier League final in Salt Lake City. Half way through the second half the ref came over to me at a lineout and told me he was fed up with listening to what he was doing wrong. I had accidently pushed the transmit button, and everything I was saying into the voice recorder was being broadcast to the ref.
Which is the one game you most remember of your career?
—As a player, playing at Twickenham.
How well do players and coaches in Florida know the laws of the game?
—The situation is considerably better now than a few years ago. Many more coaches are taking the time to educate themselves; but it is still very interesting listening to comments on the sidelines from reserves and spectators, who quite often have never even seen a Law Book, let alone read one.
What is your opinion in general of the attitude of players towards the referees in Florida?
—On the whole very good.
As a referee, have you made more friends or foes?
—Always friends. You only have foes until the final whistle, when you can discuss things rationally over a pint.
Does being able to watch a game on video help you improve your skills?
—If the quality of video is good enough.
What are the most rewardings aspects of being a referee? And the least?
—Enabling 30+ players to participate in the sport they love and have a great day of rugby.
Getting yelled at from the sideline by someone who has obviously never studied a law book in their life.
If you have had the opportunity to ref a match oversees, how was that experience?
What would you tell a player to encourage him becoming a referee?
—If you are young, fit and understand the game, then the opportunities for advancement within the sport
are much greater than as a player.
Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?
—If you are looking for another way to participate or give back to the sport, then consider picking up the whistle.
The sport is growing rapidly, especially at the youth level, and we always need more referees to pass on their experience to these kids.