FORMER Shannon and Munster playeer John Lacey has been appointed to referee his first full international match next month when he takes charge of France v Samoa clash at the Stade de France on Saturday, November 24.
John Lacey retired from playing rugby in 2007 and has since made rapid progress as a referee, from local level onto the international stage.
Limerick-based Lacey began refereeing in the Munster Schools Cup competitions but he is now a regular match official in the RaboDirect PRO12 and European competitions.
He has also had assistant referee appointments in the RBS 6 Nations and has refereed in two IRB Junior World Championships.
The former Munster full-back/winger made his debut for his home province as an 18-year-old in a friendly against South Africa’s Transvaal back in December 1995. Most notably, he scored four tries in six Heineken Cup appearances for Munster.
He starred in the All-Ireland League for Shannon, winning five League and seven Munster Senior Cup titles, and also played at club level for Sunday’s Well and Clanwilliam.
Lacey said: “I’m delighted to be given this opportunity to referee a full international. It is a step up again from what I have done in Europe and at the Junior World Championships.
“The support from Owen Doyle and the IRFU Referee department has been excellent and it is testament to them that Irish referees are so well respected in the game”.
Lacey is one of three IRFU international referees appointed for the November international series with Alain Rolland and Bruff’s George Clancy also taking charge of games.
Rolland will referee the Italy v New Zealand clash, while Clancy will be in charge of the Scotland v South Africa and England v New Zealand ties.