English Rugby
Pearson swaps the whistle for coaching
ESPN Staff
September 14, 2012
Referee Dave Pearson signals a decision, France v Ireland, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris, France, March 4, 2012
Dave Pearson will now oversee the development of future referees © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Dave Pearson
Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations
Teams: England

English official Dave Pearson has landed the role of the Six Nations' first elite referee coach.

Pearson has more than 300 senior games to his name which include 29 Tests. He started refereeing professionally back in 2002 and dismissed future World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson in his first match. Pearson will start work on October 8 and will focus on referee development.

Jon Davis, the Six Nations tournament and operations director, said: "We are very pleased to have Dave on board, particularly given his up-to-date experience at the top level of refereeing. Dave's primary role will be to raise the standard and quantity of elite referees across the Six Nations.

"He will work closely with [European Rugby Cup referee manager] Donal Courtney who played an important part in the recruitment process, and together they will be working towards a common philosophy for coaching elite match officials across the Six Nations."

Pearson - who has followed in the footsteps of Chris White and Rob Debney in hanging up his whistle - added: "Referee coaching is where I always saw myself going after refereeing at the top level, and this is the perfect job for me. Although it has perhaps come a little sooner than I had anticipated, I am extremely excited about taking the new role on and working for the Six Nations."

Pearson has been backed in his new position by Ed Morrison, the Rugby Football Union's head of professional referee development. "While never anticipating Dave Pearson moving from active refereeing at this early stage, the referee coaching role within the Six Nations affords him a wonderful opportunity move to the next stage of his working life," said Morrison. "Dave brings with him a wealth of refereeing knowledge, having operated at the highest level of the game for some years."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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