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21 December 2020

The USRFR held a unique event on Thursday 10th December when they celebrated their 70th anniversary with an online celebration attended by over 70 people.

Well-known local sports commentator, Mark Robson held an online interview with Stephen Hilditch. Stephen Hilditch is a former International referee and has always been held in high regard in both domestic and World Rugby circles. He has held the positions of President of the USRFR, Ulster Branch and IRFU during his illustrious career.

USRFR President David Napier opened the evening by welcoming members and invited guests before handing over to Mark and Stephen.

Members had the opportunity to ask questions, many of which revolved around the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final between England and NZ and the 1992 Five Nations match between France and England. Hilditch refereed both.

Discussion also took place about the changes in the game over the years and how this has affected the role of the match officials.

Following an hour of enthralling discussion, President Napier introduced Ian Crowe from the Air Ambulance NI – which is the USRFR registered charity for the second year in a row – who gave a short presentation on the essential service that the air ambulance provides.

An excellent evening was had by all who attended and further events are planned later in the season when the current restrictions hopefully ease.

The USRFR appoints officials to all domestic games in Ulster and provides referees to the IRFU National Panel.

If interested in refereeing, please contact Richard Kerr (Referee Development Manager) richard.kerr@irfu.ie / 07493 868388