Portuguese Man O'War

Navy Referee, Duncan McClement’s excellent performances last season have been recognised and rewarded by the Scottish Rugby Union. Duncan will, in October, fly to Portugal to referee at the 2013 FIRA AER U19 championship. The warm climate will no doubt be a welcome break for the Faslane based submariner.

Last season Duncan refereed the Army v RAF Inter Service matches at both Veterans and U23 levels. Good performances in both, along side a couple of strong performances on exchange in England, have clearly caught the selectors eye. The FIRA AER U19 tournament was the forerunner of the annual IRB Junior World Championships and still serves as a qualifier for the competition. This will ensure that Duncan will be suitably challenged, as, for the young players, the stakes will be high. The hosts Portugal have already shown, in the IRB World Sevens Series, that their rugby development programme is producing rapid results whilst Georgia have benefited from their Senior team having qualified for World Cup finals. The draw may well pitch both these sides against their fiercest rivals. A Portugal v Spain pool match would certainly being an interesting proposition whilst some of the best referees in the world have been tested by Georgia v Russia clashes!

Before his trip to the sun Duncan will be attending the RNRURS training Day at RNAS Yeovilton on 19th September. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who may be interested, or thinking about , referee to spend a day with the referees and find out a little more about what it all entails. It was only seven years ago that Duncan was in this very position before going on to win the Referee Newcomer of the Year award in 2007. He was due to be awarded his colours by being an Assistant Referee at the 2013 Army v RAF Inter Services match but elected to get another match ‘in the middle’ under his belt and refereed the veterans instead. Obviously it is not just as a referee that he shows shrewd judgement! So if you wish to follow in Duncan’s footsteps contact the Society Secretary, Geoff Howells, for further information.

With the tournament due to complete at the end of October, Duncan will be back in the UK in plenty of time to support his fellow referees on their charity ride from the “Poppy Fields to Brickfields” in aid of the Royal British Legion and the RNRMC Charities. I am sure he will be saving some of his IRB daily living allowance to make sure he can sponsor a worthwhile amount. Click here to sponsor the Navy Referees on their charity ride, with the match ball, from the Menin Gate to the Combined Services v Barbarians Rugby match.