- A Current International Rugby Referee
- Humorous Stories & Anecdotes
Chris White is a current International rugby referee. Before becoming an official, Chris was a player for Cheltenham, playing games against the likes of Northampton, Bristol, Gloucester and Bath, until a shoulder injury slowed his playing career down.
When rugby referees started to become professional, White gave up his job as a teacher at Prestbury primary school, as the demands of refereeing got tougher.
Chris refereed the big World Cup semi-final game between Australia and New Zealand, and if it had not have been for England reaching the semi-finals, could have had the chance to referee in the final.He was one of three referees short-listed for the final, but due to England’s great success in the competition, he did not get the biggest job any rugby referee could wish for.
White had no regrets about missing the opportunity to referee such a massive game. He said:
“I wanted England to be World Champions and I thought they would be. I’m delighted to have done the semi-final and the third and fourth place play-off, but if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be”.
White has come along way since his first game as a referee when he was just 17-years old, and the thought of refereeing as an occupation had never entered his mind.
Chris White became the first referee to take charge of three Heineken Cup finals when he took control the match between Biarritz Olympique and Munster at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, 20 May 2006.
The 42-year-old former junior school teacher from Cheltenham has the honour of doing back-to-back Heineken Cup finals – he was in the middle at Murrayfield last year when Toulouse beat Stade Francais Paris in extra time – and also refereed the previous all-French final between Toulouse and Perpignan in Dublin in 2003.
White has refereed 36 Heineken Cup games and 35 full internationals – most recently France’s Grand Slam clinching win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in March.
As a professional referee White has had to travel all around the World to referee a variety of games.
One of his many highlights of his career to date include taking charge of Australia versus New Zealand which is one of the greatest fixtures in World Rugby, let alone as a World Cup semi-final.
Chris is available for after dinner speaking and has some humorous stories and anecdotes to share from a very eventful career in the game of rugby.