Jump to main content


RWC Match Official Chris Busby: “I Spent My First Couple Of Years Refereeing Grass Roots Rugby.”

RWC Match Official Chris Busby: “I Spent My First Couple Of Years Refereeing Grass Roots Rugby.”

Pre-Season Friendly, Energia Park, Dublin 17/8/2019 Leinster vs Coventry Referee Chris Busby Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Chris Busby has decribed his appointment as a match official for the Rugby World Cup in 2023 as a surreal experience.

The Ulster Referee give his reaction to Irish Rugby TV this week.

“The opportunity to do it with 3 other friends and team mates from the IRFU – it’s a wonderful experience, just something I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“My pathway is probably a little bit different to some of the other guys. I spent my first couple of years refereeing grass roots rugby.

“The idea of getting involved in professional rugby, let alone going to a world cup was very much not on the radar at that stage.

“To be honest, the only time i really considered going to a world cup was when i got the phone call a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great honour to be representing the IRFU over there.

“The first thing I wanted to do when I got the phone call was chat to the team but also to speak to my dad who’s supported me right from the very start.

“He used to go to all my games when I reffed up in Ulster – 2nds, 3rds, 4ths 15s games so it was a really proud moment to share that with him.

“When I look at those first 3 or 4 years when I spent all my weekends in rugby clubs around Ulster, I look back really fondly.

“Particularly within the IRFU and my own society around Ulster and all the provinces, there’s so many good people who are there to support and help people to achieve whatever their ambition might be.

“For some people, it might be going to a world cup and we have structures in place to help people to achieve that but for others it might just be that they want to referee on a Saturday with the minis.

“I think the best thing about all the provinces and the structures that the IRFU have is that there’s a place for everyone.