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    I today had the honour of meeting Paddy O'Brien, the IRB Referee Manager and talk to him a little bit about the world cup, referees and life in general.

    I'm sure Paddy was cautious as he doesn't know me from Adam, however I would never reveal any off the record conversations I have, even if they would be great coups for the site. That stance has held me well for talking to various referee big wigs and getting to know what is going on before others do. It's an important balance between exclusive and excluded.

    I must say first of all what a pleasant and down to earth guy Paddy is, he had genuine interest in how things are perceived without being too bothered about it, after all referees rarely get good press, so you have to be thick skinned to be one.

    We agreed that the treatment of Wayne Barnes was quite disgraceful and unwarranted in NZ. It does strike me that it seems to have become a hobby of the New Zealand people to have a go at Wayne at every opportunity. In fact it's fair to say that every Kiwi I have met, barring Paddy, has had a swipe at him whenever they have seen the RugbyRefs.com hat.

    Paddy was also very pleased at the way the guys have gone, there has really been no controversy in this years RWC, and that has to be the main goal. The referee should never be in the limelight (unless you run a website about referees) and this has been achieved.

    He was also interested in our Ranking table, I won't give away what he said to me at this point, but it's fair to say I found it quite interesting.

    I was informed about what is happening with regards to the next round of appointments, the powers that be are meeting at 11pm tonight to discuss and make the appointments for the knockout stages, out of the 21 officials, 10 will stay, when I suggested that all AR's and TMO's would go, I was told not necessarily, this could be a misdirection, or an indication that the iRB are impressed at the way that specialist AR's such as Stuart Terheege have performed. I was also told that it seems like 4 referees will be used for all the knock out stages, I suggested that in the past the Final referee has generally not done a semi final, Paddy believed they may not take that route this year. I suppose we will find out tomorrow.

    I would like to thank Paddy for taking half an hour out of his busy schedule to talk to me, I presented Paddy a RugbyRefs.com hat to say thank you for his time, and whilst I know the iRB does not recognise RugbyRefs.com, it was pleasant to get a little bit of unofficial recognition for our goal of wider consistency throughout the grassroots referee world.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Meeting Paddy O'Brien started by Robert Burns View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. yankinoz's Avatar
      yankinoz -
      good job boss!!!
    1. OB..'s Avatar
      OB.. -
      Nice one, Robert.
    1. didds's Avatar
      didds -
      well done POB for having a 30 minute chat with Robert.

      whilst I understand - and applaud- robert's correct stance on keeping private conversations private... nevertheless I do hoped you asked him why elite refs are still ignoring squint feeds when POB's express instructions YEARS ago was this had to be stamped on.

      And that - wadr to POB - he then squirmed.

      didds
    1. Adam's Avatar
      Adam -
      I'm sure he could tell us apart!
    1. Ricardowensleydale's Avatar
      Ricardowensleydale -
      "Paddy was also very pleased at the way the guys have gone, there has really been no controversy in this years RWC, and that has to be the main goal. The referee should never be in the limelight ". Unlucky!!!
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