Referee Ben Blain set to make Guinness Pro14 debut
Scottish referee Ben Blain will make his competition debut in the Guinness Pro14 this weekend as he takes charge of Dragons v Munster in Newport on Saturday evening.
Blain will lead an all-Scottish contingent of officials, with the support of Keith Allen (AR1), Finn Brown (AR2) and Dave Pearson (TMO) also officiating the match.
He will then head to the Stade da la Rabine where he will take charge of France v Wales in their U20 Six Nations opener on 3 February.
Blain joined Scottish Rugby’s referee team in June 2018 and gained experience as a member of the Premiership Panel before being promoted to the Elite Panel in December 2017. He currently resides in Carlisle and is a member of the Borders Referees Society.
Blain has refereed three Heineken Challenge Cup matches to date, traveling to Zebre and Treviso and is also set to take charge of the Tier 2 international encounter between Belgium and Georgia in March.
On the news Ben Blain said: “I’m very excited and really looking forward to the next challenge in my refereeing career and taking the next step in the Guinness Pro14. My ambition is to get more games at this level and go as far as I can in the world of refereeing.
“Scottish Rugby has been supportive and given me plenty of opportunities so far.”
Dave Pearson, Scottish Rugby’s High Performance Referee Manager added, “Ben becomes the fourth member of the Scottish Rugby Elite Match Officials Panel to referee in the Pro14 this season, following Mike Adamson, Lloyd Linton and Sam Grove-White.
“This is a clear indication that the processes and systems that we have in place at the SRU High Performance Referee group are working and we are starting to produce a steady stream of referees selected for professional tournaments.
“Ben’s appointment is an excellent personal achievement, but credit should also go to the work being done by all the referees, referee coaches and the support staff in the group.”