Royal Navy Referees Prepare for the Navy Season

Royal Navy Rugby Referees gathered in Yeovilton in September for their annual Training Day that coincides with the start of the season.  This year's theme was "Game Management".  The varied and interesting programme was put together by the Society Training Officer WO2 Gaz Fairbairn.


The day provided the opportunity for retiring Chairman Cdr Stew Kilby to present last season's Society awards.  The Referee of the Year was presented to Lt (Jane) Pizii who has been the shining light for the progression of women officials.  She is the senior female official in the Armed Forces and has carried out duties at last years Women's Rugby World Cup, she has been promoted to Level 7 and this year refereed the Army v RAF Women's Inter Services.  The Newcomer of the Year was presented to Cdr (Donald) Doull, having completed ELRA at the end of the previous season made himself available at every opportunity and was graded Level 10 by the season's close.


The first session was entitled Injury Management and was taken by Surg Lt (Steve) Woolley followed by a presentation by Lt Cdr (Duncan) McClement on Pre Match Management.  Duncan would have done well to take advice from the first presentation as he had suffered a ruptured achilles during a preseason fitness test.  The gathering found both talks thought provoking and stemmed some lively discussion.


The Society was extremely lucky to have the services of an Aviva Premiership Referee Andrew Small and a National Panel Advisor Mick Coleman.  Andrew was able to give an insight into the management of the contact and tackle area at the top level although many of his tips were still relevant to lower levels of the game and Mike spoke knowledgably about the management of negative play.



If you are interested in becoming a rugby union referee, please contact Gaz Fairbairn ( will be running a course in Portsmouth 6-8 Dec.