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Fitzgibbon Completes Irish Finals Act

Fitzgibbon Completes Irish Finals Act

IRFU Leisure Rugby’s new Referee Development Officer Peter Fitzgibbon has completed an ‘Annus Memorabilis’ for Irish referees by being appointed to the final of the IRB Junior World Championship in Wales. It is the eighth major final an Irish referee has been appointed to this season.

The start of the season saw Alain Rolland become the first Irish referee to referee a Rugby World Cup final when he took charge of the South Africa v England match – the ultimate honour for the 41-year-old mortgage broker and Irish referees.

Alain was on hand this week to promote the IRFU’s Budweiser Tag Rugby scheme when he refereed a Donncha O’Callaghan-led IRFU team in a challenge match against a team from the Suttonians venue.

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For more details on the ‘Challenge Donncha’ evening and photos of the match, please click here.

Ireland’s first female referee, Aoife McCarthy, has had a successful season in both Sevens and 15-a-side rugby.

Earlier this year she took charge of the USA and Canada in the Hong Kong Sevens final in front of 40,000 enthusiastic supporters.

Last weekend saw her continue her successful Sevens refereeing when she was appointed to the final of the European leg of the Women’s World Cup qualifier Sevens in Limoges in France.

Last month she also travelled to Amsterdam to officiate at the Women’s European Championship and again she refereed the final between England and Wales.

IRFU Referee Development Officer David Keane (31) continued the success at international Sevens level where he officiated at two finals in the eight-leg grand prix of the IRB World Sevens Series.

Keane officiated in six out of the eight legs, taking in Dubai, George (South Africa), Hong Kong, Adelaide, London and Edinburgh.

He refereed two plate finals in George and Hong Kong and refereed the main finals in Adelaide and London.

Meanwhile, Simon McDowell will take charge of the Barclays Churchill Cup final which takes place this Saturday when England Saxons take on Scotland ‘A’ to try and retain the trophy which they won 12 months ago against the New Zealand Maori.

That time it was another Irish referee, George Clancy, who officiated the final. Those wishing to view Simon’s game at Toyota Park in Chicago can watch it on Sky Sports 2 this Saturday at 8pm.

The IRFU’s new Leisure Rugby man, Peter Fitzgibbon, will blow the whistle in the final of the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship on Sunday, following the International Rugby Board’s decision to amalgamate the Under-19 and Under-21 World Championships.

The strongly-fancied New Zealand will pit their wits against an England team that won this year’s Under-20 Six Nations, with both sides fielding players with Heineken Cup and Super 14 experience.

It should be a great experience for the Thomond clubman, who came into this tournament following a strong season of refereeing in the Heineken Cup and Magners league.

Those wishing to see Peter’s final at Liberty Stadium in Swansea should tune into Setanta Sports Ireland at 7pm on Sunday evening.

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