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Mike the Sudden Referee

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Mike, the Sudden Referee

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02 May 2014
Mike Adamson of Glasgow started refereeing this season and on Saturday he will run out as a referee in the IRB's Sevens Series in Glasgow. That is sudden.

Not that he is new to Sevens. Adamson, who turns 30 this month, played Sevens for Scotland in 38 tournaments, starting in Dubai in 2006 when Scotland played England in their opening match. It was a good career which included 10 successive quarterfinals, victory in extra time against Fiji at Twickenham and over Australia at the Sevens World Cup in Dubai in 2009. In 2007 he was Scotland's Sevens Player of the Year.

He played his club rugby for the Glasgow Hawks and for Glasgow Warriors. He represented Scotland at Under-18, Under-19, Under -21 and in a Club international. Then this season he decided to become a referee and joined a group run by Dave Pearson, the former Test referee who is now the Six Nations' elite referee coach.

That is all pretty calm but the calm was shattered on Tuesday of this week when he got a phonecall from Paddy O'Brien, the man in charge of the IRB's Sevens referees. Alexandre Ruiz of France was one of the group of referees due to referee at the Sevens but he pulled out and hastened to France because of a family illness. O'Brien phoned Adamson and invited him to join the group of referees for the Glasgow Sevens. He says he jumped at it.

He went starlight to the referees' hotel where the welcome from the other referees was warm. He took part in a briefing session with the emphasis on technicalities. "These are areas I know about from my playing days, some of them the things I did, knowing why I did them in the hope of buying time for my team. I know what the players are doing and what they're trying to achieve. I have an understanding of the players and hope that they will respect me for it. I hope to have a good rapport with the players."

Asked if he was nervous, he said: "Yes. It's similar to when I was a player and running out the first time with that dry feeling in my mouth. But I am looking forward to it."

Referees for the Glasgow Sevens: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Ben Crouse (South Africa), Richard Kelly (New Zealand), James McPhail (New Zealand), James Matthew (Scotland), Luke Pearce (England), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Ian Tempest (England), Rhys Thomas (Wales)

This article was posted on 3-May-2014, 07:43 by Hugh Barrow.

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