Paterson Wins International Call-Up

A former Dundee HSFP stand-off who only took up refereeing three years ago is to control his first international next month. Neil Paterson, 31, a dentist in Dundee, will take charge of the Irish club international side’s match against their English counterparts at Donnybrook, Dublin on Friday 23 February.A former Dundee HSFP stand-off who only took up refereeing three years ago is to control his first international next month.

Neil Paterson, 31, a dentist in Dundee, will take charge of the Irish club international side’s match against their English counterparts at Donnybrook, Dublin on Friday 23 February.

Paterson has also been nominated by Scottish Rugby to officiate at the IRB Under 19 World Championship in Belfast in April.

He took up refereeing after injury brought his playing career to an end, or as he put it: “My girlfriend, who is a surgeon, told me it was time I wised up and stopped playing!”

Paterson’s promotion through the refereeing ranks has been rapid. Already this season he has handled a Magners League match between Cardiff Blues and Connacht and he will be in charge of next week’s European Challenge Cup tie between Petrarca Padova and Newcastle Falcons.

He said: “Having played the game I would see the big advantage is empathy for what the players are trying to achieve. For me, refereeing is about working with the players and trying to understand what’s material and what’s not.

“There is a time and a place to use the whistle but I always try to think of getting through the game with a minimum of penalties.”

Paterson’s promotion follows on a season where Scottish referees Peter Allan, David Changleng, Malcolm Changleng and Andrew Macpherson have been involved at international, European and professional team matches.

Other appointments confirmed over the next few months:

England Saxons v Italy A, Friday 2 February, Exeter – David Changleng (Peebles)

Ireland Under 20 v France Under 20, Friday 9 February, Athlone – Iain Heard (Gala YM)

Spain v Russia, Saturday 10 February, Madrid – Andrew Macpherson (West of Scotland Referees’ Society)

Ireland Women v France Women, Saturday 10 February, Dublin – Gary Gordon (Hillfoots)

England Under 18 v Wales Under 18, Sunday 4 March, Bristol – Colin Brett (Edinburgh University)

Italy Under 20 v Wales Under 20, Friday 9 March, Piacenza – Graham Knox (Greenock Wanderers)

Italy Women v Wales Women, Sunday 11 March, Rome – Rupert Henderson (Edinburgh Rugby Referees’ Society)

Wales Under 18 v Italy Under 18, Sunday 11 March, Ebbw Vale – Robert MacKinnon (West of Scotland Referees’ Society)