Navy Referees at the Inter Services
Navy referees took charge of the Army v RAF Inter Services on 20 April, the day saw three matches with the Veterans, Women and Senior XV all in action during the afternoon at the Aldershot Military Stadium. The matches are the pinnacle for officials in the Navy and it was a particular special day for 3 referees.
WO2 (Gaz) Fairbairn (HMS Trenchant) and WO1 (Geoff) Howells (HMS Dauntless) both gained their Senior Royal Navy Colours and were assistant referees in the Senior match while Lt (Jane) Pizii (FOST(S)) was the first woman to referee a Women's Inter Services match for which she was awarded her Lady's Colours. Cdre Rob Thompson (Chairman RNRU) who was attending the match took the opportunity to present the colours prior the senior match.
The Chairman of the RNRURS, Cdr (Stew) Kilby said "I was delighted to see 3 of the society's referees being awarded their Royal Navy colours as a result of their officiating today. Gaz Fairbairn and Geoff Howells are both hard-working and very talented referees, and in Jane Pizii we have one of the top female rugby referees in the Country. I hope that their example will encourage other Servicemen and Servicewomen to take up the whistle and enjoy an extremely challenging, rewarding and vital role in the great game of rugby union."
For the record the results for the day were Army 52 RAF 0, Army Masters 42 RAF Vultures 0 and in the women's match Army 44 RAF 10. Other referees that were on duty throughout the day were Cdr (Andy) Coles, Cdr (Donald) Doull (both DES Bath), Lt Cdr (Duncan) McClement (NCHQ), Chaplin (John) Morris (CHF), Lt Cdr (Phil) Thornton (LHF), (Simon) Aldridge (MWS), Lt Cdr (Tim) Bailey and Cdr (Stew) Kilby.