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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

50th International For Rolland

50th International For Rolland

Alain Rolland, Ireland’s most-capped referee, will take charge of his 50th Test match in Wellington on Saturday when New Zealand and South Africa meet in the Tri Nations.

Alain Rolland will travel to his third Rugby World Cup in September and with two quarter-finals and the final already under his belt, he is hopeful of being involved again in the knockout stages.

“I enjoy every minute of it all, and as a former player it is great to still be on the pitch,” he said.

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“The IRFU Referee department programme is second to none with top class elite coaching.”

Commening on this milestone, Owen Doyle, IRFU director of referees, said: “Alain’s progress has been remarkable and the 50 Test mark includes three Rugby World Cup and 24 Six Nations/Tri Nations matches, plus of course the 2007 Rugby World Cup final.

“And despite his extraordinary success, he always keeps his feet firmly on the ground. He is a great example to all.”

Rolland won the first of his three caps for Ireland in their 20-18 defeat of Argentina at Lansdowne Road on October 27, 1990.

He also appeared as a replacement against the United States in 1994 and Italy the following year. At club level, he played for Blackrock College and also made 40 appearances for Leinster.

Rolland retired as a player when the professional era began to dawn and turned to refereeing instead with his first Test appointment coming on September 19, 2001 when Wales beat Romania 81-9 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

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