Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referees Bring a World of Experience

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referees Bring a World of Experience

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

North-east rugby has enjoyed an international dimension recently with the visit of referees from America and South Africa as part of the Durham Referees Society's development programme.

The three visitors from the USA were all from the Potomac and District Society based in Washington DC and included senior referee Steve Verna, referee development officer for the Potomac Society.

Steve Shilling had just returned from honeymoon in Paris when the Durham trip came along and Bob Leaman knew what to expect because he was born in Swansea, went to school in Bishopton and then on to London University.

He was well equipped to deal with the smart remarks from the touchline ( he did his post-graduate degree in solar physics and works for Nasa. Who said rugby isn't rocket science?

The American trio were impressed with the facilities at the Durham clubs, compared to the USA where rugby is very much a minority sport. Not so in South Africa, where it is a matter of national pride and the Springbok quartet who made the trip to the North-East were all from Natal and all based around Durban. …

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