- Referees named for 2013/14 season
- Knowledge and experience is key – Ed Morrison
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At the conclusion of each season a detailed review of the individual and collective performance levels of RFU officials is undertaken by the Professional Rugby Unit management team.
Head of Professional Referee Development Ed Morrison believes that this is a necessity to ensure that all professional referees at the top end of the game are in the best shape possible ahead of the new campaign.
He said: “Inevitably the review will lead to changes of personnel as officials either retire from their particular roles or we believe persons operating outside of the PRU warrant inclusion into the unit due to them producing consistently high levels of performance.
“Sean Davey is to retire from active refereeing with immediate effect, he has operated at Premiership level for ten years but due to a succession of injuries Sean believes now is the right time to stand down from refereeing. He will be retained within the unit in a TMO role where his vast refereeing experience will provide the unit with an additional asset.
“Llyr ApGeraint Roberts is also standing down from the PRU and will return to the National Panel at the beginning of the new season where his experience will prove invaluable.
“Steve Lander, a former International Referee leaves, the PRU unfortunately due to personal reasons Steve has not been in a position to accept appointments this season. We wish Steve well and thank him for his outstanding contribution to English referee over a number of years.
“Assistant Referee Alan Hughes stands down from the PRU after many years outstanding service to the game. Alan has just completed 21 years on the National Panel firstly as a referee and latterly as a AR. Everyone within the PRU wishes Alan a happy retirement.”
Morrison added: “Matthew Carley has been appointed to a Trainee Full Time Referee role and joins the RFU from 1st August this is indeed a significant appointment as Matthews becomes the first referee to gain promotion from the Referee Academy managed by Chris White into a full time role since its introduction three years ago.
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“Much deliberation took place as to who we invite into the PRU therefore were delighted to welcome the following personnel: Rowan Kitt, who has refereed regularly in the Championship over a number of years, has decided to swap his whistle for a the luxury of the broadcasters van to take on the role as a TMO, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
“Tom Foley and Darren Gamage have refereed in the RFU Championship and are all deserving of the opportunity to operate at the next level.
“Roger Baileff and Simon McConnell have been promoted from the Championship Assistant Referee Panel into the PRU again a measure of their constancy over the full Championship season. Michael Patz and Jonathan Healy have gained promotion as Assistant Referees from the National Panel into the Championship. James Minards returns to the National Panel after gaining invaluable experience operating in the Championship."
Championship Referee Manager, Steve Leyshon, said: "The professional game is constantly evolving and improving and I'm delighted that by continuing to work closely with the PRU, our officials have been able to make the step to the top of our sport in England."
"Operating in such an environment requires an enormous amount of dedication and commitment to performance improvement – we will continue to meet the challenges of the professional game and by working alongside the National Panel and PRU, there's a clear and transparent pathway for those with the potential to operate at the top end of the sport."