Consistency of refereeing across the board of European club rugby’s leading tournaments was the main thrust of the ERC Clubs Conference in Paris on Tuesday.
Coaches and directors of rugby from the 44 clubs involved in the 2009/10 Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup competitions – which kick-offs in early October – and leading match officials from the competing nations also heard about law changes and their interpretations along with the surviving ELVs that will be in force during the 15th season of cross-border rugby organised by ERC.
“What we want to achieve is a level of consistency of refereeing across both competitions,” said Donal Courtney, the ERC Match Official Performance Manager.
“To that end all the referees and coaches involved in both the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup were invited to this conference and we have had a tremendous representation from them.
“Last year we had a smaller conference for fewer coaches and referees but this one is all-embracing for those in both our tournaments.
“And while the main theme has been trying to achieve that consistency of refereeing and communication in each game, across matches and between different referees, we are also taking the opportunity to discuss and debate key areas such as the tackle, ruck, scrum and maul.”
Ed Morrison, IRFU Director of Referee Development Owen Doyle and Joel Dume were among the other key-note speakers on the first day of the conference, with disciplinary-related matters taking centre stage on Wednesday.