Karl Dickson – Behind The Whistle: Being the opening ref - Ruck

Karl Dickson – Behind The Whistle: Being the opening ref

Along with our partners at ACME whistles, we caught up with Karl to discuss how it felt to be the opening referee at this year’s Six Nations tournament.

Karl said: “I was very lucky enough to open the tournament last year, so to open it up again is always a privilege. You knew France Ireland game was always going to be one of the highlights of the tournament, so to be picked for that game was brilliant. People have shown a lot of confidence in me.

“It’s a massive privilege to open the tournament because you’re almost setting the standard going forward, but ultimately it was just business as usual.”

We asked, coming off the back of the World Cup, if Karl had any expectations on the teams going in, he added: “Obviously, people are going to have their opinions going into the tournament, but you only have to look at teams in the competition to see how competitive it is: like Scotland; they played well at the World Cup. You saw they played their first half at the weekend and then Wales pulled off a huge comeback. Wales are a young team so you don’t really know what to expect whereas, Scotland are a proven team and are probably, going to be competing at a high level.

“Then you’ve obviously got England and Italy, and you only have to look at that game after the weekend. And I think everybody was going to assume England would win, but the Italians played some fantastic rugby and put England under pressure.

“There’s a lot of games to go. Obviously, the first game you want to build that momentum and that’s what Ireland did. Although there’s still some tough games to come for all teams so I can’t wait to see how it pans out.”

For more information on refereeing and to get started, visit www.acmewhistles.co.uk