Ed Morrison departs as RFU’s Head of Elite Referee Development

News from the RFU

05 September 2013

  • Ed Morrison to leave position as Head of Elite Referee Development
  • Morrison was RFU’s first full-time professional referee in 1998

Ed Morrison, the Rugby Football Union’s Head of Elite Referee Development, is leaving his post as the new season opens.

Morrison was the RFU’s first full-time professional referee in 1998 and after retiring from active officiating in 2001, took on a referee development role within the union. He was formally appointed Development Manager in the newly formed Elite Referee Unit in 2003 and became Head of Elite Referee Development in July 2008.

RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said: “We are immensely grateful for the role Ed has played both as a successful and respected referee and latterly in developing other senior match officials.

“He has played a leading part in bringing a professional approach to officiating and, for the past five years, has been responsible for all officiating matters from the Aviva Premiership upwards, working closely with colleagues on the National Panel.

“Ed has been a fundamental part of the rugby community and I am sure, with his level of expertise, will continue to be very much part of it.”

Morrison remains the only Englishman to referee a Rugby World Cup final, taking charge of the iconic 1995 showpiece when Joel Stransky kicked South Africa to a 15-12 victory over New Zealand and Nelson Mandela presented Francois Pienaar with the trophy.

Reflecting on a life involved in rugby, Morrison said: “Rugby has been such a huge part of my life, initially as a player and as a referee and latterly working to ensure that officiating constantly improves so that the professional game continues to flourish.

“Having broken new ground by becoming the RFU’s first full-time professional referee, being part of the formation of the Elite Referee Unit and then taking charge of its development, I feel that now is the right time to hand the reins to a successor to continue the good development work and systems I have helped to put in place.”


  1. Ed has been a great ambassador for rugby and refereeing in particular. He is always prepared to talk to people and referee at any level. I have seen him referee his club’s 3rd XV because the appointed referee was taken ill and unable to officiate. The evening before he had been refereeing Bah at he Rec. Always read with a smile I am sure the RFU will miss him, but the Bristol referee Society will be looking forward to seeing more of him. Good luck for the future, Ed.

  2. Ed Morrison, a very decent man, and that’s from an Australian. He sure does smile, his word is good and he turns up to help out on those charity days. Ed will not only be missed by the RFU but by rugby fans, around the globe. Ed has a great sense of humour and a great nature dealing with fair minded people. A little bit of paradise awaits in OZ, you did a great job at Oswestry !!! Do you remember Ed ? A big thank you, now years on. The Orthopods at RJAH, Oswestry

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