JP Doyle has been named as Scottish Rugby’s High Performance Referee Coach in a newly created role put in place by Performance Director Jim Mallinder.
A hugely-experienced and respected referee, Doyle began his career in 2001 and officiated regularly in the English Premiership. In May 2014, Doyle refereed the Premiership Final before being appointed as an official at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and taking charge of matches in the Six Nations.
He was controversially made redundant by the RFU in 2020 during the pandemic, whereupon he headed to the United States in Major League Rugby (MLR) as a referee coach before coming back to the UK and working as a part-time teacher at Craigclowan Preparatory School in Perthshire – which attracted the SRU’s attention.
“Throughout my career I have always had opportunities to be involved in coaching and being from an educational teaching background for the last 15 years, this role mirrored perfectly where I wanted my career to go,” said a delighted Doyle.
“The refereeing department within Scottish Rugby is already successful so this is a brilliant opportunity for me to develop that and put further structures in place to what is already working well.
“My main focusses from the refereeing side will be help develop the technical side but also the human element. To achieve long term success it is critical that our referees maintain positive relations across the game in order achieve success.”
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5 Most Controversial Refereeing Decisions in Rugby History
There were several controversial decisions in the rugby over the weekend – but were they any worse than these utter howlers?
Worst refereeing decisions in rugby:
1. Speargate on the Lions Tour
The first game of the Lions tour of New Zealand was swept into controversy following a horrific spear tackle on Captain Brian O’Driscoll, which ended his tour within minutes. The tackle, with O’Driscoll picked up by two players in the ruck, was against the rules, but the ref waved play on.
The moment caused a major knock-on effect in World Rugby, tightening up restrictions on spear tackling.