18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
From there he has never looked back! With the help of North East Referee Representative, Jim Walker, and fellow Navan RFC member, Paul Beggy, he quickly progressed through the ranks of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch (ARLB).
Indeed his progression has been so rapid, that he refereed his first Junior One game in only his first season of refereeing.
Sean is currently in his second year on the Inter-Provincial Appointment System (IPAS), the mechanism by which referees are selected for the IRFU National Panel of Referees.
He has been aided and guided along the way by the ARLB's experienced assessors, including Tom Aplin and IRFU Referee Development Officer David Keane.
Commenting on the award, Sean said: "I am thrilled to win this award. When you look at the number of quality young referees around the four provinces, it is very pleasing to have been selected.
"I really enjoy my refereeing and thank the IRFU for all the help they have given me in getting to this level.
"There are clear structures in place allowing new referees starting out to progress though the system and up onto the National Panel.
"You are guided through each step to get to the next level and help is at hand to assist you.
"In the coming seasons, my ambition is to reach the National Panel. The opportunities that refereeing has provided me at such a young age have been brilliant and I would encourage anyone interested in refereeing to give it a go."
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