Former Shannon and Munster playeer John Lacey has been appointed to referee his first full international match next month. He will take charge of France v Samoa at the Stade de France on Saturday, November 24.
John Lacey retired from playing rugby in 2007 and has since made rapid progress as a referee, from local level onto the international stage.
The Tipperary man’s refereeing days began in the Munster Schools Cup competitions but he is now a regular match official in the RaboDirect PRO12 and European competitions.
He has also had assistant referee appointments in the RBS 6 Nations and has refereed in two IRB Junior World Championships.
The former Munster full-back/winger made his debut for his home province as an 18-year-old in a friendly against South Africa’s Transvaal back in December 1995. Most notably, he scored four tries in six Heineken Cup appearances for Munster.
He starred in the All-Ireland League for Shannon, winning five League and seven Munster Senior Cup titles, and also played at club level for Sunday’s Well and Clanwilliam.
Speaking about his appointment, Lacey said: “I’m delighted to be given this opportunity to referee a full international. It is a step up again from what I have done in Europe and at the Junior World Championships.
“The support from Owen Doyle and the IRFU Referee Department has been excellent and it is testament to them that Irish referees are so well respected in the game.”
Lacey is one of three IRFU international referees appointed for the November international series with Alain Rolland and George Clancy also taking charge of games.
Rolland will referee the Italy v New Zealand clash, while Clancy will be in charge of the Scotland v South Africa and England v New Zealand ties.
Ireland’s opening game of the GUINNESS Series against South Africa will be refereed by Wayne Barnes of England.
The Ireland XV game against Fiji a week later will see Welsh official Leighton Hodges in charge, while the final fixture of the Series against Argentina will be refereed by South Africa’s Jaco Peyper.
In addition to Lacey, Rolland and Clancy, Irish officials also feature prominently as assistant referees with Dudley Phillips, Simon McDowell and Peter Fitzgibbon all included and Marshall Kilgore on television match official duty.
The match official appointments have been announced following a thorough review of performances during the June international window and the recently concluded Rugby Championship by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee, which is committed to promoting consistency in officiating.
At its most recent meeting in Johannesburg last week, the panel reconfirmed its commitment to the ‘big five’ key priorities:
– All aspects of the tackle with particular emphasis to be placed on the tackler releasing the tackled player and rolling away and arriving players staying on their feet
– Offside at the breakdown
– Offside from kicks
– All aspects of the scrum, particularly the engagement process and front-row binding
– All aspects of the maul, particularly what constitutes legal maul defences
Click here to view the full list of match official appointments for the November international schedule.