Popular referee JP Doyle has revisited the circumstances of his summer redundancy by the RFU, revealing that he has never actually asked the governing body of rugby in England why he was singled out for the chop.
It was August, amid the post-lockdown restart of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership, when it emerged that Doyle had been deemed surplus to requirement by the referees’ department at RFU HQ in Twickenham.
Doyle has temporarily remained involved in refereeing since his redundancy, accepting an invitation to referee at the World Tens tournament that was held over three weekends in Bermuda in October and November.
However, the qualified teacher has been absent from the Premiership where he had been refereeing since 2006. The 41-year-old became a full-time RFU employee in 2010 but that relationship ended five months ago.
Asked why exactly he was made redundant, Doyle told RugbyPass Offload: “Well, I didn’t actually ask in the end. I just kind of got the news and went ‘fine’.
RugbyPass Offload – Episode 12 – Refs call
We're back for 2021 as Zeebs, Ryan and Christina are joined by top referee JP Doyle! ?
The guys chat cancelled rugby, Xmas celebrations and the crazy scenes we witnessed in the PRO D2 ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 13, 2021
“The easiest thing is they just made redundancies, they decided I was the best person to made redundant. Players move clubs, people move jobs. It’s not ideal. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like it. I was upset but I understood their point, where things are.
“It’s a game, we move on. If there was a story it would be great to get it out there and say what they did and what I did, (but) it’s a situation they were in. They made a decision. It sucks for me. I’m sure it sucks for them as well and you just move on.
“There is no chapter seven in the book that you can say, ‘I’ll hold this one back’. It just is a redundancy and there is a lot of people in a lot of situations at the moment and no one is going to cry for a referee, unfortunately.”
“People knock it on less, there is better continuity, so maybe there are 80 plays in a game but the ball in play has gone up… you can easily have five or six 20, 30 phase (plays)”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 16, 2020
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