23/03/02.Alain Rolland will be in Murrayfield today where he will take charge of his first Six Nations championship international when he referees the game between Scotland and France.
Rolland is only the second Irishman – after Ham Lambert – to play international rugby and referee at international level. His rise to the top can rightly be termed meteoric when one considers that he was playing European Cup rugby five years ago.
Rolland won his first cap for Ireland in October 1990 in the 20-18 win over Argentina in Lansdowne Road. Two more caps follwed as a replacement in 1994 and 1995. He won 40 caps for Leinster, six as captain and was in that squad up to five seasons ago during their European Cup campaign.
Right from the outset of his refereeing career, Rolland (35) has won admirers on and off the field for the way he handles matches. He has refereed at senior international level (Wales v Romania), Heineken Cup, Parker Pen Shield, Guinness Interprovincial, AIB League and last Sunday was in charge of the Coca Cola Leinster Schools Senior Cup final.
A fluent French speaker, he was educated at Blackrock College. Captained his club Blackrock College to a Leinster Senior Cup title.