John Lacey will be the man in the middle at Twickenham this season
RUGBY referee John Lacey will take charge of his final international this Saturday when he officiates at the meeting of Argentina and the Barbarians at Twickenham.
Limerick-based Lacey has decided to retire from test officiating to take up a high performance Referee coaching and talent identification role with the IRFU.
One of the most-capped test referees in Irish rugby history, the former Shannon and Munster player has taken charge of 37 tests between 2010 and 2018, and officiated four matches at Rugby World Cup 2015.
Tipperary native Lacey will take charge of his final international this weekend and will continue to officiate at European and Pro 14 level until the end of the current season before taking up his new role.
World Rugby Match Officials Selection Panel Chairman Anthony Buchanan led the tributes to Lacey, who represented Ireland Sevens, Ireland A and Munster before taking-up the whistle.
“John has been an outstanding servant of international officiating over a eight-year period, winning 37 caps and many friends along the way as a match official who always gave one hundred per cent to the cause.
“In particular, as a senior member of the international panel in recent years he has played a strong role in mentoring and supporting the younger members of the group and it is these qualities that will be to the fore as he begins and exciting, new chapter in his career. Everyone at World Rugby wishes him well.”