Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that highly experienced international referee Hugh Watkins has agreed to become the new consultant referee at Sixways Stadium.
Watkins, who has taken charge of five Test matches in his successful career, will fill a new position created at Warriors to work with the players and coaching staff, in particular with reference to the challenges and opportunities presented by the ELVs.
Vastly experienced referee Watkins has taken charge of over 40 top European matches, including being Touch Judge for the 2008 Heineken Cup final. A professional referee since 2000, Watkins worked at the Rugby World Cup 2007 and has also been involved in the Six Nations, Tri-Nations, Guinness Premiership, EDF Energy Cup and Magners League. Watkins also refereed the 2004 Under-19 World Cup final and 2005 Under-21 World Cup final.
Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock revealed Watkins would assist in reviewing the team’s performances and deliver practical training sessions to make sure every player is fully conversed with the laws of the game.
Watkins will also deliver extensive presentations on the new ELVs and become the fourth official at Warriors on matchdays during the 2008/09 season.
“We’re very pleased that Hugh has accepted this important role,” said Ruddock. “He joins us with a huge amount of experience and will be here for contact sessions to help us with our preparation and understanding of the laws at all times, particularly in light of the new challenges the ELVs will present.
“We will need to put in a huge amount of work to make sure that we are disciplined at all times and Hugh will work with the players and coaches at the Club in order for us to hit our targets in this crucial area.
“We want to be on the front foot in terms of our preparation for the season. Having Hugh with Warriors to assist us in that process for every match will be very extremely productive.”
Hugh Watkins added: “I am really pleased to be given the chance to work with Mike Ruddock having worked with him in the Wales set-up in the past.
“It’s a great challenge for me to work with the Warriors and look at individual performances and team discipline in terms of areas such as the penalty count.
“I will also be delivering sessions for the players and looking at the challenge of the new ELVs and getting them up to speed as quickly as possible.”