Just received this via my Referee Society from the RFU:
The RFU Press Office wrote:
May 7, 2008
ELITE RUGBY DEPARTMENT STRENGTHENS REFEREE UNIT WITH TWO NEW TRAINEE FULL TIME OFFICIALS
The Elite Rugby Department of the RFU has announced two new appointments to its Referee Unit under the management of Ed Morrison. Two new trainee full time officials, Greg Garner and JP Doyle take up their new posts on September 1, 2008.
Both Greg and JP started their officiating careers in the community game and have made consistent progress over the last five years.
Head of Elite Referee Development (Designate), Ed Morrison said “Greg and JP are outstanding prospects and our aim is to have them acting as touch judges in the Guinness Premiership in the 2008/09 season and as referees in the elite domestic game in 2009/10.
“Their appointments underline our commitment to providing more full time resource to support the elite game, encouraging young referee talent and potential, and rewarding it at the appropriate time during their development and careers.
“Credit must be given to the National Panel coaches and assessors who have worked with Greg and JP over the last few years. They are all volunteers who give up significant amounts of time to assist referee development and it’s encouraging to see that referees of the appropriate quality are being produced for the elite game.
“Steve Leyshon (Panel Development Manager) and Steve Savage (Panel Development Officer) should also be thanked as they have worked very closely with Greg and JP.”
Greg Garner and JP Doyle will join Chris White, Dave Pearson, Wayne Barnes, Rob Debney and Andrew Small as full time officials in the Elite Referee Department.
Greg Garner said “On behalf of JP and myself we’re delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with Ed Morrison and the full time referees. Ultimately our goal on the domestic stage is to take charge of a Guinness Premiership match but we both know that we have a lot of work to do before that opportunity presents itself. We will however have excellent support from Ed, Brian Campsall and Tony Spreadbury (Elite Referee Development Managers) and their experience can only benefit us.”
JP DOYLE BIOGRAPHY
JP Doyle, 28, is a teacher by profession who played rugby for Terenure College (School), Terenure College RFC (Rugby Club) and St. Mary’s College, Twickenham. JP started refereeing in England for the West list in London in January 2003 after starting his career in Leinster two years before.
JP was promoted to the South East Group in 2003 and made the National Panel in 2006. JP refereed a final in the Daily Mail Schools Day in 2007 and the EDF Energy National Trophy Final this year.
GREG GARNER BIOGRAPHY
Greg, who is 27, started refereeing during his ‘gap’ year in 1999 at Aquinas College in Perth, Western Australia. He was coaching at the time but they were short of referees and he agreed to take a course. After returning to Nottingham University in 2000, Greg was injured playing rugby and decided to spend more time on his refereeing.
He joined the Warwickshire Society of Referees and after two seasons he joined the National Panel. Since joining the Panel, Greg has been on an exchange trip to South Africa in 2005, taken charge of an Under 18 Six Nations match in Glasgow in 2007 and refereed an Under 20 international in Newport this year between Wales and Scotland.
Now is it me or are referees, like policemen, getting younger?
Surely following all the comments here (especially) about touch judges this must be a good thing! Imagine, ones with own teeth, hair and so on...
"Our prayer is 'God save Ireland' and pour blessings on her name!"
Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum