Over the years, Old Deer Park has played host to many of the world’s greatest ever referees. Nigel Owens, Wayne Barnes, Piers Skinner and JP Doyle have all visited our iconic ground in recent seasons and at least two of them have even refereed games on our very own ‘Field of Dreams’ (© Brendan McWeeney).
Our Band of London Society refereeing Brothers (and their Academy members – Ben and Evan) is held in very high esteem on the West London refereeing circuit – especially now that we have added Sir Jerry Rees to our number this season - already “one of the best referees in the Middlesex Merit tables” according to the Reverend Goronwy (Danny Griffiths).
In fact, our refereeing group is so highly regarded that a regular annual fixture for the world’s best referees is their annual consultation with the London Welsh referees.
The 2018 edition took place this week at Old Deer Park, with Jaco Peyper, the man in the middle for the England v Australia game, able to complete his last minute preparations in the company of these Whistling Superheroes.
Jaco was accompanied by his TMO for the Twickenham fixture, Marius “Lawes is Offside” Jonker. Apparently, many English fans present at Old Deer Park this Thursday were referring to him in a not particularly witty manner as Jonker the Plonker.
This inexcusable lack of respect prompted Gareth Vaughan Jones to explain to both the people willing to listen to him why Lawes was indeed blatantly offside in the All Blacks game....unbiased as only a Welshman can be....
The evening was a great opportunity to explore how the referee and TMO interact at the elite level of the game. Fortunately for our grassroots referees, interaction with a TMO is not something they have experienced - but after more promotions in their refereeing level this season than a Black Friday internet site, this group of officials listened with interest in readiness for when this day comes.
Another great evening for the #LondonWelshFamily #YourTeam #BlackFridaySponsorshipOffersHere.
Photo from left : Gareth Vaughan Jones, Marius Jonker, Jerry Rees, Jacob Piper, Neil Wharton & Piers Skinner