Referee coaching is where I always saw myself going after refereeing at the top level and this is the perfect job for me
Dave Pearson, the vastly experienced Test referee has become the first Elite Referee Coach appointed by the Six Nations. His new job starts on 8 October 2012.
Pearson, a Geordie, who turned 46 last month, has been in England's professional referees unit for 10 years, and was till recently on the IRB's merit list of top referees in the world. He has refereed 29 Tests since his first (Argentina vs Japan) in 2005 and over 300 senior games. He was one of the referees appointed to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Jon Davis, Six Nations tournament & operations director, said: “We are very pleased to have Dave on board, particularly given his up-to-date experience at the top level of refereeing. Dave’s primary role will be to raise the standard and quantity of elite referees across the Six Nations.
“Dave will work closely with Donal Courtney (European Rugby Cup referee manager) who played an important part in the recruitment process and together they will be working towards a common philosophy for coaching elite match officials across the Six Nations.”
Dave Pearson said: “Referee coaching is where I always saw myself going after refereeing at the top level and this is the perfect job for me. Although it has perhaps come a little sooner than I had anticipated, I'm extremely excited about taking the new role on and working for the Six Nations.”
John Feehan, Six Nations CEO, commented: “This appointment represents a significant investment and recognition by the Six Nations Council of the importance of supporting refereeing at the top level in our territories. I look forward to having Dave as part of the team and to seeing an improvement in the overall numbers of the top referees representing the Six Unions.”
RFU Head of Professional Referee Development Ed Morrison said: “While never anticipating Dave Pearson moving from active refereeing at this early stage, the referee coaching role within the Six Nations affords him a wonderful opportunity move to the next stage of his working life.
“Dave brings with him a wealth of refereeing knowledge, having operated at the highest level of the game for some years. He will be missed by all his colleagues here at the RFU but at the same time everyone will join me in wishing him every success in this exciting new role."