Heard Takes Up Key Refereeing Post

Iain Heard, who has risen through the ranks 13 years after first taking up rugby refereeing, starts a new job tomorrow that will aim to nurture more referees. Heard (Gala YM), 38, succeeds Bill Calder as Referees Development Manager for the Borders and also, crucially, in a new remit as National Referee Academy Manager.Iain Heard, who has risen through the ranks 13 years after first taking up rugby refereeing, starts a new job tomorrow that will aim to nurture more referees.

Heard (Gala YM), 38, succeeds Bill Calder as Referees Development Manager for the Borders and also, crucially, in a new remit as National Referee Academy Manager.

He joins the staff of Scottish Rugby having previously been a self-employed mortgage consultant.

He said: “Firstly I’d like to pay tribute to Bill whose enthusiasm in his ten years in the post encouraged me to become more involved in refereeing, having started helping out Rob Moffat on the PE staff at Galashiels Academy.

“The challenges I face are two-fold. Firstly, to recruit as many referees as possible and to support these referees – especially in a climate where the criticism of referees tends to be ever more vocal.

“Secondly, within the National Academy aspect of my job, to assist young and promising referees and give them every opportunity to become the best they can be.”

Roy McCombe, Scottish Rugby’s Referee Manager, explained: “The Academy has been set up to help talented referees capable of refereeing at Premier level and beyond. The selection is taking place at the moment and we expect to have seven candidates for the start of what will be a two-year programme.

“The candidates will be based within their own referees’ society and managed by Iain from Galashiels. He will be supported by two dedicated referee coaches and two mentors. The aim is to give the referees in the academy extra support and accelerate their progress through intense coaching and mentoring.”