ADVANTAGE™ TEAM : CONTRIBUTORS

JONATHAN KAPLAN • CHRIS POLLOCK • STEVE LANDER •ROB DEBNEYPHIL DUNNE • BEN CROUSE • DANA TEAGARDEN • ANDREW McMASTER • MARC NELSON 

JONATHAN KAPLAN

ELITE REFEREE CONSULTANT

SOUTH AFRICA

What started out as a hobby to stay involved in a game which was much more than just sport to him, ended in a career with many lifelong dreams realized. His greatest education came from being exposed to culture, and to a lesser degree politics, which he believes gave him a more rounded view of the world and its workings.

 

Rugby World Cup:

1999, 2003, 2007, 2011

Tests: 70

Including all Tier One nations & the British & Irish Lions

Currie Cup: 161

6 Finals

Super Rugby: 107

3 Finals

First Class Matches: 425

 

His greatest joy came from the creative process of delivering a product which he became synonymous with , a visual spectacle which by and large was appreciated by the vast majority of the rugby public. That feeling of enduring satisfaction lives long after the matches are forgotten.

CHRIS POLLOCK

ELITE REFEREE CONSULTANT

NEW ZEALAND

In his international career, Pollock refereed 22 Tests after his debut Test (Nieu vs Tahiti) in 2005 and his first World Rugby appointment (Hong Kong vs Japan) in 2006, the year in which he refereed the final of the World Rugby U21 Championship in France.

He introduced the first ref-cam in a Super Rugby match, and refereed the opening test match between the British & Irish Lions and Australia in 2013. His international career culminated in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

 

Rugby World Cup:

2011, 2015

Tests: 22

Including the British & Irish Lions

Super Rugby: 70

First Class Matches: 201

Ranfurly Shield: 9

He is now actively involved locally and internationally as referee manager, coach and consultant, assisting international teams and competitions.

STEVE LANDER

ELITE REFEREE CONSULTANT

ENGLAND

A PE teacher by profession, Steve has been associated with Rugby Union as a Teacher, Coach, Referee and Reviewer for the last 40 years. He became one of the World ‘s first full -time referees in 1999, officiating in 63 Test matches (19 as Referee) including Six Nations, Tri Nations (The Rugby Championship), Bledisloe Cup and Rugby World Cup. Steve was also prominent on the inaugural Sevens circuit, taking charge of the Sevens World Cup Final in Hong Kong. He was also part of the successful England World Cup winners of 2003, working with Management as Technical Laws advisor and Coach.

 

He has continued working in match officiating as manager, reviewer and coach. Steve's personal interest lies in developing and advising both aspiring and top level match officials to “be the best that they can be”. He has shaped programs for World Rugby and the RFU, and managed World Rugby Sevens Referees. He currently works as a Sport & Education Consultant and advises MLR as both Match Reviewer and Referee Coach.

PHIL DUNNE

ELITE STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

IRELAND

Phil is a sports performance specialist with a decade of experience working in elite rugby union. His expertise is in strength and conditioning and performance analysis, holding a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science and an MSc in Sport Performance Analysis as well as being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

 

Phil worked for World Rugby for over 9 years in the role of Physical Conditioner & Game Analyst, specifically delivering strength and conditioning and performance analysis support to the elite referees appointed to World Rugby’s international panels. His experience includes working with over 200 elite referees appointed to the Men’s and Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series, the 2013 and 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2014 & 2018 Commonwealth Games and the World Rugby U20 Championship and Trophy competitions. He also contributed to the development World Rugby’s Athlete Management System (AMS) for international referees as well as produce content for World Rugby’s training and education programmes for match officials.

ROB DEBNEY

ELITE REFEREE CONSULTANT

ENGLAND

Rob started refereeing at high school after a neck injury ended a promising playing career. Working through the English RFU referee system, he refereed his first Premiership Game in 2004 as part of a 12 year professional refereeing career.

Tests: 23

English Premiership: 250

European  Cup: 75

In addition, Rob also refereed the 2003 U21 World Cup Final.

 

After a knee injury brought a premature end to Rob's career he's successfully transformed into a referee coach and evaluator as well as a refereeing consultant and writer for The Times newspaper.

Rob's no holds barred approach combined with his experience of refereeing consistently at the top will help you get honest guidance and support to take you to the next level. His work with Major League Rugby referees, has in one season, already had a significant impact.

BEN CROUSE

ELITE SEVENS REF CONSULTANT

SOUTH AFRICA

Ben refereed on the HSBC Sevens circuit for 5 years including the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Sevens World Cup. His experience in refereeing at the top, plus his first-hand knowledge of balancing life and achieving success on the road can help aspiring referees be better prepared in Sevens.

 

He followed in his father's footsteps taking up refereeing in 2000. In 2006 he made the SA Referees panel, and has officiated in over 150 HSBC Sevens matches, and is currently refereeing in the Currie Cup.

Olympic Games 2016

Rio de Janeiro

Olympic Qualifiers & Repechage 2015

Sevens World Cup  2018

San Francisco

102 HSBC 7s Men’s

45 7s Women's

25 HSBC 7s Qualifiers

Currie Cup

DANA TEAGARDEN 

ELITE REFEREE CONSULTANT

USA & GERMANY

Dana’s life in rugby spans almost 30 years and include refereeing 26 Test Matches. She officially started refereeing in 2004, after achieving success as player: College  Championship MVP; competing in multiple club championships; and featuring in the USA Eagles pool - also refereeing to remain a step ahead of officials.

 

She paved the way for women’s referees, realizing many firsts. In 2006 she refereed her first World Cup match, South Africa v Khazakstan. 2007 at the Men’s Sevens Series, the became the only woman to feature as referee on the men’s circuit. She refereed Fiji on her way to the Bowl Final, Tonga v Argentina. In 2008 she became the first woman to make a country’s premier panel, selected to the USA National Panel. In 2009 she took charge of the very first Women’s Sevens World Cup match and finished with a cup semi-final. That year saw firsts for women refereeing men’s tests, Dana refereed Germany v Switzerland and Gabriel Le, Kyrgyzstan vs Mongolia. At the 2010 Women’s World Cup in England she refereed the Bronze Final, France vs Australia.

 

Dana refereed Women’s 6 Nations and was the first woman appointed to a WR Men’s 15s Test. In 2014, due to injury, she retired. She's a qualified WR Trainer and Citing Commissioner, team analyst for Germany men’s 15s, referee development manager and referee coach. An engineer by trade, Dana has a gift for identifying what matters, guiding and building match officials to the top of their game, adding to her already impressive achievements on the field.

MARC NELSON 

CERTIFIED ADVANTAGE™ CONSULTANT

USA

Marc has been involved in refereeing for 17 years, 6 of those as part of the USA Rugby National Panel, and as one of the top referees in the country, took charge of multiple national finals.

 

He was the Referee Manager for western USA for 3 years and USA Rugby for 2 years.

 

He plays a key role in professional rugby, involved in both PRO Rugby and Major League Rugby, the latter as TMO, which has seen him rise to international level, his latest assignments including the Americas Rugby Championship and in the June tests for the Scotland v Canada Test Match.

 

Marc can offer more than tactical development in your pathway, specializing in the strategic refereeing. Multi-talented in all aspects of the game, from technical zones to radio expert, elite referee coaching to referee development, he brings a wealth of knowledge and can help you be a more successful referee.

ANDREW McMASTER 

CERTIFIED ADVANTAGE™ CONSULTANT

CANADA

Andrew started playing at age 11 when his family moved to Zimbabwe. Even though he first refereed in high school in 1994, he continued to play at all levels in Canada, and eventually found his niche when he turned to refereeing in 2007.

 

A National Panel referee, he represented Canada internationally as AR (highlight being USA v All Blacks), TMO and was the Rugby Canada Referee of the Year 2013. In 2014 he was selected for the WR HP Camp in Stellenbosch. 2016 he became Rugby Canada's Manager of HP Match Officials.

 

His philosophy and approach to referee coaching and performance review is to focus and identify why a referee is making certain decisions and to develop a strategy to build these areas. His primary focus are the soft skills of refereeing; player interaction, communication, body language, empathy and awareness. 

He has steadily built a reputation in coaching and reviewing and has featured internationally:

World Rugby ARC

2016, 2017, 2018

PanAm Games 7s 

2015

Major League Rugby

2018, 2019