The annual IRFU Referee Conference is taking place in Old Belvedere today. All the top referees from Ireland will be in attendance, bar Alain Rolland who is taking charge of the Australia v New Zealand Tri-Nations game in Brisbane tomorrow.
The conference will be attended by the top 50 referees in Ireland.
As testament to the strength of refereeing in Ireland, Alain will be the man in the middle for the eagerly awaited Bledisloe Cup clash at the Suncorp Stadium. His fellow whistler Alan Lewis will also be refereeing a Tri-Nations tie next month.
So what do referees do when they get together?
Well the conference brings together the top 50 refs in the country for a day long series or meetings and presentations - but it is not all fun and games. They all have to undergo a fitness test, run by the IRFU Fitness department, in the morning.
..."Okay gents I saw it" - Alan Lewis in charge of a Celtic League game between Ulster and Connacht...
There follows a series of presentations about the various aspects of the game including Law, Interpretation, Referee Positioning and possible Law changes.
The conference will be addressed by, amongst others, former international referees Owen Doyle - Director of Referee Development - and David McHugh - Referee Development Officer.
The conference will also hear from current international referee Alan Lewis.
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