Michael Patz

Michael Patz

What’s your day job? National Manager for England Rugby Match Official Development

How long have you been refereeing? 15 years

First match you can remember? Old Yardleians 2’s at home. I didn’t have a clue, ran around, blew my whistle when I thought I should and had a great time in the clubhouse afterwards

Why did you start refereeing? I coached my sons’ junior side and reached a point where the players knowledge outstripped mine!

Favourite venue to referee at? If I can choose one here and one in NZ
UK: Ludlow, just love the backdrop of the castle high on the hill behind the goal posts
NZ: Westpac Stadium Wellington, known locally as the CakeTin, the atmosphere just reverberates around the stadium

Best refereeing moment so far? Refereeing at the Bangkok 10’s in Thailand, I am following play (as fast as I can) and get a pull on my shorts from behind, by a player called Bobby Skinstad (SA No.8) who pulled me back, saying, ‘Slow down ref, I need to get there first so you can blow the whistle and slow this game down!’

The last game you refereed? Luctonians v Hereford Colts, awesome encounter on a very wet pitch, both sides played extremely hard, but fair. Really enjoyed it.

Pre-match meal? Peanut butter and jam on toast

Any pre-match rituals or superstition? Always go into the game with the positive thought that this is my next big game

One piece of advice for new referees? Enjoy, you do not know where the journey will take you

Best piece of advice you were given? Stop admiring the decision you have just made, think about what the players are doing next and after that…

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