Patrick McNally, or ‘Paddy Mac’ as he is known around the world, has been appointed as the IRB Men’s Sevens Referee Selector for the Northern Hemisphere. Vinny Munroe of New Zealand got the nod for the Southern Hemisphere position with Paddy O’Brien as the Sevens Referee Manager.
This is a great achievement and comes in recognition of McNally’s outstanding contribution to Sevens rugby in the USA and internationally. Since 2006, when USA Rugby invited McNally to head up the National Sevens Referees Program, he has steadily guided the program to meet the progressively challenging pace of the game. From the outset he displayed his visionary approach by developing the first Sevens Referee Handbook that will be releasing its 3rd Edition this summer. In addition, he contributed to the IRB Sevens Referee Course and Workbook and has published numerous articles on rugby refereeing on the American Rugby News and UR7s.com websites.
During his tenure in Sevens, McNally has managed all National Sevens Championships, including the high-profile USA Sevens College Rugby Championships. He has been the Referee Liaison Officer for every USA IRB Sevens event since 2007, and has been appointed as Performance Reviewer on the IRB Men’s Sevens World Series and NACRA Sevens.
In the USA his program has developed top international Sevens referees including Leah Berard, who refereed the 2013 IRB Women’s Sevens World Cup Final, and Mike Kelly, who is refereeing on the IRB Men’s Sevens World Series. This is a reflection of his ability to identify and develop referees that display the potential to excel nationally and internationally.
“We are very excited for Paddy Mac and we know that he will continue to succeed in the world of Sevens,” USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Richard Every said. “Rugby continually evolves and we are always promoting and developing the game and referees at the same standards that are applied internationally by the top countries and the IRB. Ed Todd, Director of the Referee Department, has been the key orchestrator of USA Rugby Referees, establishing the first Sevens Referee Program in the world.”
McNally started his rugby career as a college freshman in 1974 and ended a 19-year playing career at hooker in 1994 when he took up the whistle. In 2003 he made the USA Rugby Referees National Panel where he refereed at all national championships and the Rugby Super League. His relationship with Sevens was born in the summer Sevens seasons where he regularly refereed and, upon retiring in 2006, it was a natural progression from the field to managing the USA Sevens Referee Program.
“I am excited and thankful for the opportunity presented by the IRB,” McNally said. “It is a real step forward for all of our Sevens referees, to begin to earn our credibility in the world of rugby refereeing. The appointment presents a major challenge for me to perform at the highest level, but to also bring back that experience and knowledge to not only our elite Sevens referees, but to our entire Sevens refereeing community and to lift our standards and numbers across the country.”