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Crosshaven Man Frank Murphy Named On Pro 14 Elite Referee Squad

Crosshaven Man Frank Murphy Named On Pro 14 Elite Referee Squad

Crosshaven man Frank Murphy has been named on the Guinness Pro 14 Elite Referee Squad for the upcoming season.

Frank, who played his early club rugby with Crosshaven RFC and CBC Cork before going on to a professional rugby playing career with Munster Rugby, Leicester Tigers and Connacht Rugby, made his professional Refereeing debut in November 2016 and to date has 5 professional appearances.

In round 1 of the newly formed Guiness Pro 14, Frank will take charge of the Scarlets v Southern Kings fixture.

The Guinness PRO14 Elite Referee Squad for the upcoming season has been confirmed with two officials from SA Rugby included in the 13-man panel.

Greg Garner, Elite Referee Manager, has also confirmed the appointments for Round 1 of the Guinness PRO14 which will see Quinton Immelman become the first South African referee to officiate in the Championship.

Immelman will take charge of Ospreys v Zebre and his compatriot Stuart Berry, also in the Elite Referee Squad, which will be Assistant Referee 1 for the same fixture. Both of the South African officials are among SA Rugby’s premier referees.

In total, the Elite Referee Squad contains 10 international referees such as Nigel Owens, John Lacey and Marius Mitrea as the Guinness PRO14 seeks to set higher standards under the guidance of Garner, who succeeded former Independent Referees Appointments Commissioner, Ed Morrison.

Garner has been busy preparing his squad for the new season where the focus will be placed on a consistent approach to refereeing the Global Law Trials that came into effect on August 1. With the support of all five participant unions in the Guinness PRO14 the Elite Referee Squad met last week in order to outline their goals for the season ahead.

Garner was pleased to name the panel ahead of an historic campaign for the Championship. “I’m delighted to name such a strong squad of referees ahead of the 2017/18 Guinness PRO14 season. The main attraction of this job was to work with such a high calibre group of officials from across five countries,” Garner said.

“The Championship has a reputation for attractive rugby and I know the World Rugby statistics show that. Referees play an important part in ensuring Positive Play but they are greatly helped by coaches and players who have the ambition to play exciting rugby.

“I’d like to congratulate all 13 members of the Elite Referee Squad for their selections while also welcoming Stuart and Quinton to the PRO14, too. Stuart is very experienced in Super Rugby and recently took charge of his 50th Currie Cup game while we have high expectations for Quinton who has risen quickly up the ranks as a premier referee in South Africa.

“Given that we have five different rugby cultures competing in the Championship it creates a demanding environment for our referees which they must perform in week in, week out. I’m very confident that this group can continue to set new standards and I wish them all the very best of luck ahead of such a land mark campaign for the Guinness PRO14.”

Guinness PRO14 Elite Referee Squad – 2017/18

Mike Adamson (SRU) Competition debut: Munster v Benetton Rugby, Nov 2016 Appearances: 8

Stuart Berry (SARU) Super Rugby debut: Toyota Cheetahs v Western Force, May 2012 Super Rugby Appearances: 26

Andrew Brace (IRFU) Competition debut: Cardiff Blues v Zebre, Sep 2015 Appearances: 23

George Clancy (IRFU) Competition debut: Border Reivers v Dragons, Oct 2004. Appearances: 89

Ian Davies (WRU) Competition debut: Connacht v Aironi, April 2012. Appearances: 64

Quinton Immelman (SARU) Super Rugby debut: Toyota Cheetahs v Sunwolves, March 2016 Super Rugby Appearances: 8

Dan Jones (WRU) Competition debut: Munster v Zebre, Oct 2016. Appearances: 8

John Lacey (IRFU) Competition debut: Edinburgh v Ospreys, Nov 2008. Appearances: 63

Marius Mitrea (FIR) Competition debut: Connacht v Scarlets, Sep 2011. Appearances: 68

Frank Murphy (IRFU) Competition debut: Dragons v Edinburgh, Nov 2016. Appearances: 5

Nigel Owens (WRU) Competition debut: Border Reivers v Connacht, Aug 2002. Appearances: 152

Ben Whitehouse (WRU) Competition debut: Connacht v Zebre, Nov 2014. Appearances: 33

David Wilkinson (IRFU) Competition debut: Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets, April 2008. Appearances: 51

Round 1 Appointments

Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh George Clancy (IRFU)

Munster v Benetton Rugby Ian Davies (WRU)

Ulster v Toyota Cheetahs Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Ospreys v Zebre Rugby Club Quinton Immelman (SARU)

Dragons v Leinster Mike Adamson (SRU)

Scarlets v Southern Kings Frank Murphy (IRFU)

Connacht v Glasgow Warriors Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

A full list of match official appointments and broadcaster information can be found at:


This comes after the Garner and Mark Lawrence, High Performance Referee Manager (SA Rugby), held a pre-season camp in Cape Town recently in order to prepare their officials for the upcoming campaign.


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