Former French referee Michel Lamoulie has become the latest recipient of the IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service.
A native of Mont de Marsan in France, Michel has played a very important role in developing young match officials, especially at Under 19 and Under 21 levels.
Lamoulie was an assessor and performance reviewer ever since the inception of merit-based selection in 1997, and became an IRB selector in 2006.
He also worked on many different tournaments over the years with FIRA-AER, coaching and developing elite referee talent.
Presenting the award in Nantes during the IRB Junior World Championship, IRB High Performance Match Officials Manager Joel Jutge said: "It's a real honour for me to present this award to Michel."
"He is a man with a great passion for developing match officials, and he is also a man of great integrity and well respected by referees worldwide."
"The IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service recognises those who have contributed significantly to the area of officiating and Michel is certainly worthy of this award."
Before he received the prestigious award in Nantes, Lamoulie was introduced to up and coming referees who have been officiating at the IRB Junior World Championship in France.
The key developmental tournament for players and coaches also provides a similar role for aspiring Test referees from all over the world. Romain Poite, Chris Pollock, Jérôme Garcès and Greg Garner are just some of the established whistle-blowers that have officiated at the JWC in the past.
The IRB Junior World Championship is part of a process to ensure the highest quality referees are in place for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 in England, as it gives officials the perfect environment to learn from each other as a group, focus on continual coaching, assessment and mentoring to ensure the best-possible standards of consistency and performance.