Nigel Whitehouse appointed WRU National Match Officials Manager

From the WRU

31 July 2013
By Graeme Gillespie

Nigel Whitehouse is looking forward to the challenges ahead which await him in his new role.Nigel Whitehouse has been appointed to the position of Welsh Rugby Union National Match Officials Manager, replacing existing referees coordinator Rob Yeman.

Our officials are respected around the world and I’m sure Nigel will make a positive impact on the development of future top class referees when he takes up the post
Former international referee Yeman is vacating this senior position at the WRU at his own request, in order to take on the job of referees operational support officer, focusing more directly on departmental operational issues.

Whitehouse, who hails from Gowerton and is a former senior police officer with South Wales Police, will take over the post with immediate effect.

A former international referee who officiated in 21 Tests and regarded by many in the game as one of the leading referee coaches, he leaves his current role as referee performance and development officer to take on responsibility for the WRU referees department.

“Having been a part of Welsh rugby for over 40 years I can’t bring myself to leave the system completely and I will still be taking an active role in the referees department but it is time for me to pass the reigns into Nigel’s capable hands,” said Yeman.

“This is an important job not just to Welsh rugby but to the world game. We boast a long list of international standard referees and as recently as this summer we were able to add another name to that list when Leighton Hodges took charge of his first Test match in Canada. We have also seen Nigel Owens take over Derek Bevan’s Test record when he officiated his 45th international this year. I owe a huge gratitude to the hard work of the team I have had around me in helping to achieve not just those accolades but also ensuring the future development and sustainability of the officials network in Wales.

Yeman added “Our officials are respected around the world and I’m sure Nigel will make a positive impact on the development of future top class referees when he takes up the post.

“He has been a part of our succession planning and I am sure he will continue with the production line of referees which support Welsh rugby and the department will continue to go from strength to strength.”

The WRU match officials department appoints referees to over 6,000 matches a year in Wales, it also manages and promotes recruitment and develops the individual careers of existing officials in order to ensure they make an impact on the world game where talent allows.

“Firstly I need to thank Rob for over ten years of service in his current position, the department and refereeing in Wales and the wider field is in a healthy state and Welsh rugby owes him a debt of gratitude for all his hard work,” added Whitehouse.

“Personally I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead, our purpose is to service the game in Wales and beyond and to ensure the structures are in place to continue to produce top class referees at the elite end of the game as well as continue to recruit in order to service rugby at all levels.

“Our aim is to continue to be at the forefront of the game in refereeing terms and I look forward to picking up where Rob has left off and to continue to help take Welsh refereeing forward for many years to come.”