- Ed Morrison to leave position as Head of Elite Referee Development
- Morrison was RFU’s first full-time professional referee in 1998
Photo: Getty Images
Ed Morrison, the Rugby Football Union’s Head of Elite Referee Development, is leaving his post as the new season opens.
Morrison was the RFU's first full-time professional referee in 1998 and after retiring from active officiating in 2001, took on a referee development role within the union. He was formally appointed Development Manager in the newly formed Elite Referee Unit in 2003 and became Head of Elite Referee Development in July 2008.
RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said: “We are immensely grateful for the role Ed has played both as a successful and respected referee and latterly in developing other senior match officials.
“He has played a leading part in bringing a professional approach to officiating and, for the past five years, has been responsible for all officiating matters from the Aviva Premiership upwards, working closely with colleagues on the National Panel.
“Ed has been a fundamental part of the rugby community and I am sure, with his level of expertise, will continue to be very much part of it.”
Photo: Getty Images
Morrison remains the only Englishman to referee a Rugby World Cup final, taking charge of the iconic 1995 showpiece when Joel Stransky kicked South Africa to a 15-12 victory over New Zealand and Nelson Mandela presented Francois Pienaar with the trophy.
Reflecting on a life involved in rugby, Morrison said: “Rugby has been such a huge part of my life, initially as a player and as a referee and latterly working to ensure that officiating constantly improves so that the professional game continues to flourish.
“Having broken new ground by becoming the RFU’s first full-time professional referee, being part of the formation of the Elite Referee Unit and then taking charge of its development, I feel that now is the right time to hand the reins to a successor to continue the good development work and systems I have helped to put in place.”