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First Test for young Scot

Refereeing hope of a nation?

After a period of great Scottish refereeing with the likes of Brian Anderson and Jim Fleming, Scottish refereeing has been a bit thin. But there are great hopes for young Peter Allan who referees his first Test on Saturday.

One of Scottish Rugby’s Group 1 Elite referees, he is leading a team of three to his first full International this weekend, Allan (30) is set to referee Germany vs Serbia Montenegro in Heidelberg, Germany on Saturday 12 November.It is a World Cup Qualifier in Europe Round 3.

Edinburgh born and educated, Peter had a long and successful playing career taking him from being captain of his school’s 1st XV (George Watson’s College) into their former pupils side (Watsonians FC) which is one of Scotland’s Premiership clubs who are currently competing in Premiership Division 1.

Allan’s playing days were cut short after sustaining a serious knee injury which required reconstructive surgery but Edinburgh’s referee development officer Roy McCombe suggested that he could remain in the sport by considering refereeing. McCombe, who is still involved in Allan’s development said: “I identified Peter as being an exceptional talent at an early stage and I am delighted that he has been given this opportunity at senior international level so early in his career.”

Allan, who has been refereeing since 2001, turned it into his main focus in 2003.  Since then he has flourished, refereeing his first international match (England Under-19 vs France Under-19) in February of this year and his first Celtic League match (Cardiff Blues vs Munster) earlier this month. Later in the year, Allan will participate in the IRB World Sevens circuit, travelling with the Scotland Sevens to Dubai, South Africa, Paris, London and the Commonwealth Games. He has already commenced training with the Sevens players in preparation for these trips.

Allan acknowledges that he was fortunate to have been part of the Edinburgh District Development Squad of referees, under the watchful eye of Jim Fleming.  Fleming said: “Although Allan has not been refereeing long, following his excellent performances at the 2005 IRB Under-19 World Cup, he has shown us both at home and abroad why we consider him to be one of Scotland’s rising referees and we were delighted to appoint him to this match.”

Allan is a deeply ambitious referee and has his eye firmly fixed on the IRB Panel with a view to participating in future Six Nations and Rugby World Cup tournaments. He is ever mindful that this is not a lightweight ambition, as he notes: “I am aware of the work that needs to be put into achieving this and hopefully the excellent structure that we have in Scottish Rugby’s refereeing department will assist me and the many other young referees we have coming through the system in Scotland.”

The future does indeed look bright, and busy, for Allan and with the backing of his fiancée Sally, he has the drive and commitment to make the most of his refereeing skills.


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