• RWC 2015 Referee - John Lacey


    image ©irishrugby*

    John Lacey is a classic example of a "poacher turned gamekeeper". He was born in Tipperary on 12 October 1973, making him 41 heading into this years Rugby World Cup.

    John Lacey played rugby professionally on the wing, or at full back for Munster, scoring 114 tries at Senior club level. Debuting for Munster at the tender age of 18, he made six Heineken Cup appearances for the province. He is one of two referees at this years Rugby World Cup who have played professionally as well, the other being New Zealand's Glen Jackson.
    After just one season refereeing, John Lacey made the difficult decision to retire from his role as captain at his local club, Clanwilliam RFC. He took up refereeing full-time in 2007, at the age of 33.

    John Lacey is stated as saying that he misses the team training and bonding of his playing days as he mostly trains on his own now.

    Compared to his coaching role1 at Munster, Lacey genuinely feels the referee has the best seat in the house, saying that it has allowed him to referee some fantastic players in fantastic stadiums around the world, which he sees as the major benefit of being a referee.

    In an IRB referees' fitness camp back in March 2014, Lacey had the distinction of being the fastest referee in the group. Amongst the competition were Romain Poîte, Chris Pollock, Wayne Barnes, Jaco Peyper and Nigel Owens. (If you are interested, Jaco Peyper was first in the Yo-yo test.)

    Lacey feels that it is a tough job keeping up on the coat tails of players, given the speed and fitness levels of today's game. He believes prematch nerves are good, being nervous gives you that edge to keep you where you need to be during the game.

    John Lacey came across refereeing purely by chance. Though he attended a Munster Association of Referees training course, he still was totally unprepared when asked to take charge of a Munster schools quarter final. He did so as the appointed referee never showed up, due to an administrative error. That was back in 2006. In 2010 he refereed 4 fixtures at the Junior World Championship in Argentina, including the semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand.

    His most memorable game to date has been his first Six Nations match, Wales v Italy at the Millennium Stadium, on the opening weekend of the 2014 championship.

    1As well as being a referee, John Lacey is an IRFU Rugby Development Officer based in Munster & also responsible for Munster Schools Development squads.

    *Image is reproduced for referee education only, all rights remain with the owner.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. L'irlandais's Avatar
      L'irlandais -
      Sprinkler stopped play? Restart where? How?

      Referee John Lacey was nonplussed when the sprinklers came on unexpectedly during Saturday's World Cup warm-up match, Samoa v Barbarians.

      Source : BBC
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