JP Doyle appointed as high performance referee coach by Scottish Rugby

Irishman will oversee Scotland’s four full-time referees – Mike Adamson, Ben Blain, Hollie Davidson and Sam Grove-White

JP Doyle has been named as Scottish Rugby’s High Performance Referee Coach. Image courtesy: Scottish Rugby/SNS Group
JP Doyle has been named as Scottish Rugby’s High Performance Referee Coach. Image courtesy: Scottish Rugby/SNS Group

JP DOYLE has been named as Scottish Rugby’s High Performance Referee Coach in a newly created role put in place by Performance Director Jim Mallinder as part of the recent departmental restructure.

The Irishman is a former English Premiership and international referee who officiated at the 2015 World Cup and in the Six Nations. He was dropped by the Premiership in 2020 in favour of homegrown referees, then had spell in the United States overseeing Major League Rugby (MLR) matches and as a part-time teacher at Craigclowan Preparatory School in Perthshire.

Doyle will oversee Scotland’s four full-time referees – Mike Adamson, Ben Blain, Hollie Davidson and Sam Grove-White – as well as working with the wider refereeing team throughout Scotland. Part of his remit is  to develop Scottish Rugby’s Referee Talent ID programme.


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“Throughout my career I have always had opportunities to be involved in coaching and being from an educational teaching background for the last 15 years, this role mirrored perfectly where I wanted my career to go,” said Doyle.

“My main focusses from the refereeing side will be help develop the technical side but also the human element. To achieve long term success it is critical that our referees maintain positive relations across the game in order achieve success.

“Like every team in sport you have to build and develop so another key focus of my role will be around Talent ID. I’ll be out looking at who is coming through the refereeing pathways but also engaging with players and coaches within clubs as that will be where we’ll find a lot of our talent going forward.”

Mallinder added: “Having a man of JP Doyle’s experience coaching our High Performance refereeing team will be of great benefit to match officials across Scotland.

“All four of our referees have been rewarded recently with appointments in high-profile matches, particularly Mike Adamson who has been involved in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

“JP’s experience will be invaluable in helping their development but also ensuring that there is a strong pipeline of referees coming through the ranks.

“The technical knowledge he will provide will be invaluable in driving forward Scottish refereeing across the board.”


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About David Barnes 3041 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

6 Comments

  1. Quite honestly the best way Doyle could help our officials is if he was to referee a game, then tell them – don’t do anythingt I did there.

    A terrible referee, right down there in the Lacey, Clancy class of useless officials.

    I could name at least two Scottish referees/assessors who could do a better job.

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