The Test series pitting the Wallabies vs France saw not only an influx of battle-hardened Frenchmen to Australian shores, but also a troupe of referees arrive from New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and England. Many of these referees were kind enough to give up their preparation time to visit with the local referee associations in Brisbane and Sydney.
In Brisbane on 5th June, referee Craig Joubert, assistant referee Chris Pollock and Television Match Official Ben Skeen appeared at a seminar run by QRRA. Involving an education session with various video clips, followed by a Q&A run by Australian Rugby Union’s Scott Young, and finally an audience question session while food and drinks were provided, the evening was an outstanding success and attracted not only Brisbane referees but also referees from the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Associations.
In Sydney on 19th June, referee Chris Pollock and his assistant referees George Clancy and Wayne Barnes appeared at a fundraising function run by NSWRRA, held at St Andrew’s College, Sydney University. Following a similar education session, the three referees appeared in a panel moderated by ARU Referee Coach Michael Tanzer and answered audience questions.
The QRRA, NSWRRA and ARU would like to thank all the IRB referees who gave up their time to meet and talk with the referees at the grassroots, and doubtless all the referees present appreciated hearing their interesting stories of life as a Test Match official, and words of wisdom around refereeing generally.