Phil Davies - World Rugby Director of Rugby – talks about his philosophy around developing world class match officials - Ruck

Phil Davies – World Rugby Director of Rugby – talks about his philosophy around developing world class match officials

As part of the European Rugby referee event earlier this month, our partners at ACME Whistles were able to check in with some of the speakers, including Phil Davies – World Rugby Director of Rugby – about his role and plans to restructure support for match officials.

During the event, forty representatives from twenty different rugby federations across Europe came together in Amsterdam to inspire and change the perception and narrative around refereeing – looking to shine a positive new light on match officials.

During his talk, Phil Davies discussed a range of topics, including his philosophy. He said:

“It’s very much a philosophy about behaviours, based around the five values of World Rugby: integrity, respect, passion, discipline and solidarity.

“Firstly, I always talk about climbing Mt Everest. And with that I always talk about aspiring to something. Aspiring to greatness if you like. And how we inspire them along the way.

“Secondly, I talk about an iceberg. I don’t think anybody realises the amount of work that goes into refereeing below the public-facing surface.

“I’ve been blown away by it personally. Since I came into this job, the amount of enthusiasm and the work that goes into development of the match officiating space is incredible. So I have a huge respect for you guys.

“That’s why I always talk about the iceberg, when you see the vastness of it above the sea, it’s always what’s going on below the surface that’s important.

“And finally, teamwork.

“When it comes to the emerging nations or performance unions, they haven’t got everything, but you just have to find a way to make things work.

“You can always talk about what you haven’t got, but the most important thing is to work with what you have got and make the most of it. Try and grow incrementally from there.

“It’s all about providing an environment so the referee can grow.

“I came across the word ‘Ubuntu’ which summarises this perfectly for me. It is a South African word meaning ‘I am because we are’ or in other words, ‘we are strong’.

“I get a bit of stick from the team at World Rugby when I talk about mountains, icebergs and Ubuntu – but it’s all about aspiration and inspiring people to grow; it’s all about the hard work people are doing, and recognising that; and also about togetherness and teamwork.”

Keep an eye out for more from Phil at World Rugby and the team from Rugby Europe over the coming weeks.

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