Alan Lewis has announced his intention to retire from refereeing at the end of this season. With 45 major international Test matches to his credit, including a Rugby World Cup quarter-final and games across the RBS 6 Nations Championship and Tri Nations, Lewis is one of the longest serving IRFU international referees.
Alan Lewis also holds the record for matches in European competition with an incredible 83 matches, 71 of which were Heineken Cup games including three semi-finals and the Heineken Cup final in 2007.
Talking about his decision to retire, Lewis said: “Now just feels like the right time to finish up. It’s a natural progression and one I have been discussing with my family and Owen Doyle in the IRFU over the past few months.
“I feel very privileged and honoured to have been involved at this level for so long. I have enjoyed every minute hugely.”
Commenting on the recent Rugby World Cup referees panel selection, he added: “Of course there’s a twinge of disappointment (at not being selected for the World Cup), I wouldn’t be human if there wasn’t.
“The main thing now is to wish all match officials great enjoyment and success in New Zealand.”
Owen Doyle, IRFU Director of Referees, said: “What an extraordinary and successful career Alan has had and his record speaks for itself. He has always brought so much to the game, both on and off the pitch.
“His dedication and his enthusiasm have been unsurpassed. I am really now looking forward to continuing to work with him, albeit in another capacity.
“His expertise and communication skills will help enormously in developing the next generation of elite referees.”
IRFU President Caleb Powell commented on hearing the news, saying: “Alan has made an immense contribution to our game, both domestically and on the world stage.
“His commitment and ability serve as a real example to all those aspiring to referee at the highest level.”
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