top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Evans

August 2022 Newsletter - Training Day Special

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Hello all,

As promised, this is a follow-up to the Training Day held on Sunday 14th August at BT Murrayfield.

Thank you to everyone who came along or sent apologies. We had over 70 people there and we hope those who could not attend through illness and family matters are better or their family members are back to good health.

A big ‘thank you’ to the Rugby Development team in Scottish Rugby for organising for us to have our Training Day at BTM. It was a great venue and the food was certainly well above what we’re used to!

I’ve tried to capture the key topics raised during the Conference and please send in any additional points or questions at any time.

First of all, I want to recognise in writing the foresight and courage of Paul Rendle in helping to save a car driver from significant injury or worse as he approached Forrester Rugby Club. Paul is very modest but those of us who have seen the video will vouch for the value of his actions. Well done Paul and we’re proud to have you as a member of ERRS.

Neil Graham, Head of Rugby Development in Scottish Rugby, kicked the conference off with a presentation on Scottish Rugby’s Blueprint and this prompted a healthy discussion on how referees might support and be impacted by the Blueprint. UPDATE (17/8/22): See below for the recording of Neil's presentation:

I took two key issues away.

Firstly, match official fitness is going to be even more critical when we look at Speed and Space.

Secondly, there is further discussion to be had as the Blueprint evolves and match official input is critical. Neil has offered to join our October meeting for an update following meetings with the national coach, Head of Pathways and others and certainly Neil is well equipped to take the views of ERRS members into those discussions.

Graham Newton, our Vice President and Head of Coaching, then took us through some key pieces of information around Appointments and Grading, the Transition Panel and the Global Law Amendments that have been confirmed for this season. We also talked about the Brake Foot introduction and this has promoted much traffic on email today as questions have been asked about stress on hips and other joints and whether the same law amendment applies at age-grade levels. We have reverted to Rugby Development for clarification and will communicate asap.

Here’s the link to the World Rugby information on Law Application Guidelines:

Thank you to everyone who supported Graham in this session.

My key points from this are:

  • Safety remains paramount and to this effect, referees should be in no doubt that they have the right (and obligation) to instruct a player they suspect is suffering from the impact of a possible head injury to leave the field.

  • The Transition Panel pathway is a positive step with some details to be clarified and we will do this in due course.

  • Technical areas will be a ‘work on’ for clubs and schools during the season and match officials need to ensure they are up to speed with the requirements.

Graham’s slides are at the end of this newsletter and we’ll finish off the session on Coaching and Mental Health Well-Being at our September meeting when we’ll also have Professor Duncan Mascarenhas of Napier University on ‘managing distractions’. Duncan runs the only available Masters degree in match officiating so has a wealth of insights from a range of sports.

Our panel discussion/Q&A was very lively! Thank you to Mhairi, Poppy, Neil, Gordon, Mark and Graham for taking part. We had some great questions and exchanges of views. My key points from this discussion were:

  • Referee the game in front of you and don’t make allowances around sanctions in adult games and make sure the players enjoy it- legally!

  • Spend time in discussion with coaches and players after the game

  • Don’t assume that grassroots players know the laws as well as you

  • We can only attract, retain and recruit players if we all work together.

I’m sure there were more………


It was fantastic to see the Referee of the Year award going to Ewan Robertson for his commitment to games (over 60 in one season), availability and feedback from clubs.

Ewan Robertson being presented the award for ERRS Referee of the Year by Jim Fleming

Ian Hewitt’s Lifetime Achievement award was universally applauded to the rooftops- a well-deserved recognition of a lifetime commitment to rugby and match officiating as a referee, AR and coach.

Ian Hewitt being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Ronan Machugh

Updating availability, kit sizes and distribution

This is a repeat of last month’s plea: Please ensure your availability is updated in Who's The Ref as soon as possible so that Iain Goodall knows who he can and cannot appoint to games.

I have shirts, socks and polo shirts & we will, hopefully, have shorts and tracksuit tops available at the September monthly meeting. These will be bagged up and marked with the names of those who have paid subs.

The polo shirts should be worn to and from games so that we have a consistent standard of dress and an easy way for clubs to recognise us when we walk into a club!

We are having trouble accessing sizes on WTR so if you want to leave me in no doubt whatsoever as to what shirt and waist size you are then email me - otherwise, I’ll use my judgement and you can arrange a swap later if your items don’t fit. We will only be making the kit available at our monthly meetings or by collection from my house in deepest Leith by prior arrangement.

Additionally, if anyone would like to take on the role of Kit Manager for ERRS then let me know.

Also, a reminder that we also have our own online kit shop: Colin Campbell Sports | Teamwear Specialists | Edinburgh Rugby Referees (the store is password-protected & is the same password as previously circulated)


Can I repeat the plea for subs to be paid as early as possible, please? ERRS subs are £15 for the season with a voluntary £1 addition to the Murrayfield Injured Players Fund.

Payment should be made to:

Edinburgh Rugby Referees’ Society

Account Number: 00133451

Sort Code: 80-11-14

Please add your first initial and family name as the reference and the word ‘subs’ after it.

If you are unable to make the payment just now, give me a call or drop me an email & we will provide a solution - it's no issue.

Media Strategy/Social Media

Ahead of the new season, just want to remind everyone about the ERRS Twitter & Instagram accounts where we will strive to provide more frequent shorter-form updates as well as more prominently highlight the achievements of our match officials on and off the field.

In order to best do this, there is a request for members to send in photos of themselves from the weekend (if you're lucky and the photographer has managed to get your good side) as well as any interesting articles/interviews you've found that would be worth sharing more widely.

Also if you don't want photos of you shared, let me know & we'll leave you out of the posts.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on September 14th at Boroughmuir Rugby Club, Colinton Road. Please note it’s a 7pm start. This is for cost implications and to allow members to leave at a reasonable time to cycle, bus, walk or drive home.

Here’s the schedule of all meetings and topics we’ll be covering (all meetings at 7pm, unless otherwise stated):




14th September

General Meeting

Managing Distractions (Duncan Mascarenhas) and coaching update (Graham Newton)​

12th October

General Meeting

Season so far: CPD on hot topics​

9th November

General Meeting

Managing Difficult Players (external expert speaker)

14th December

General Meeting

Quiz & Buffet

11th January 2023

General Meeting

Season so far: CPD on hot topics

28th January 2023 (Time TBC)

Annual Dinner

15th February 2023

General Meeting

Six Nations talking points (Fin Brown)

15th March 2023

General Meeting

Reffing Sevens (Fin Brown)

12th April 2023

General Meeting


16th May 2023


Let me have any feedback on the newsletter and please send me your ‘it happened to me…’ once the season gets underway.

Best wishes,

John Evans

ERRS President

Pre-Season - 2022
Download PPTX • 1.40MB

ERRE Pre-season conf - Blueprint
Download PPTX • 3.86MB

132 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

January 2023 Newsletter

Happy New Year! 2023 should be an interesting year on and off the field of play. Rugby is in a state of change in so many ways and it’s probably one of the most dynamic, fluid and challenging periods

December 2022 Newsletter

First of all, congratulations to Hollie Davidson on being appointed to referee the World Cup Final! Hollie had some big calls to make and the clarity of decision-making was impressive given the pressu


bottom of page