James started his rugby career in St. Andrew's College before playing for Dublin University and then Athy RFC. An injury led him to start refereeing at the age of 29 and his first game was between the Under-16s from Athy and Cill Dara - a real local derby!
James took the IRFU Referee Foundation Course through the Association of Leinster Branch Referees and never looked back.
His career took him to Dubai in 2006 and his refereeing experience led to him taking up the whistle locally. He continued to referee and found himself on the IRB Sevens Circuit where he met up with fellow Irish referees, including David Keane, the IRFU Referee Development Officer who ran the first course James took.
This season saw James rewarded with his first international match, another 'local derby' but this time between China and Thailand in the Asia 5 Nations.
James has provided us with an interesting insight into refereeing in his local area - the Arabian Gulf:
Refereeing rugby in the Arabian Gulf is full of surprises. Some are pleasant, others not so much.