The IRB has paid tribute to one of international Rugby’s most experienced and accomplished referees, Alain Rolland, following the announcement that he has decided to retire at the end of the current season.
Rolland, 47, has so far refereed 64 full internationals, including the pinnacle match in the Game when he took charge of the Rugby World Cup 2007 final between South Africa and England in Paris.
“Rugby simply cannot take place without referees and Alain has proven himself time and again to be one of the most accurate, consistent and reliable match officials this great Game has seen,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The fact that Alain went into refereeing after a successful playing career is particularly pleasing and he should be an inspiration to others who want to stay involved once their playing days are over. I would like to wish him well for the remainder of this season and beyond.”
IRB High Performance Match Official Manager Joel Jutge added: “Alain is quite simply a world-class referee who has maintained a consistently high level of performance and fitness throughout his career. He works extremely hard at all aspects of his game, he is the consummate professional and, in addition, he always has time to offer advice and support to younger referees coming through the ranks.”
“I would like to thank him for his service to Rugby, acknowledge his contribution at the highest level and wish him all the best for the future. He is a role model for all aspiring referees.”
In addition to a stellar international career, Rolland officiated more than 70 European Cup matches, including two finals.
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