Alain Rolland

Alain Colm Pierre Rolland (born 22 August 1966) is a former Ireland rugby union international and rugby union referee. He also played for Leinster.[2] He refereed the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and was an assistant referee in the final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In September 2013 he announced his intention to retire from refereeing at the end of the 2013/14 season.[2]

Alain Rolland
Alain Rolland - 2012-12-08 cropped.jpg
Birth nameAlain Colm Pierre Rolland
Date of birth (1966-08-22) 22 August 1966 (age 56)
Place of birthDublin, Ireland
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight76 kg (12 st 0 lb; 168 lb)
Occupation(s)Mortgage broker
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum half
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)


Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1989–1996 Leinster 40 ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1990–1995 Ireland 3 (0)
Teams coached
Years Team
1993 Ireland Women[1]
Refereeing career
Years Competition Apps
Rugby World Cup
Test Matches

Playing careerEdit

During his playing days as a scrum-half, Rolland earned three caps for Ireland. He started the match on 27 October 1990 against Argentina, and gained further caps as a replacement against Italy in 1994 and the USA in 1995. He won 40 caps for Leinster, and played club rugby for Blackrock College. He also played 11 times for English club Moseley during the 1996/97 season.

Refereeing careerEdit

Rolland retired as a player at the start of the professional era and began refereeing, with his first Test appointment coming on 19 September 2001 when Wales beat Romania 81–9 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

He made his Six Nations refereeing debut six months later, when France beat Scotland 22–10 at Murrayfield, with his first Tri-Nations match following in July 2003, with New Zealand's record 52–16 defeat of South Africa.

Rolland refereed in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and was appointed to referee the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[3] Rolland, along with fellow Irishman George Clancy, was selected to a ten-man referee panel for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He was an assistant referee in the final.[4]

After the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final between Wales & France, Rolland received much criticism for awarding a red card to Welsh captain Sam Warburton in the 19th minute for a tackle which lifted France winger Vincent Clerc off the ground. Wales ultimately lost the semi-final to France, 9–8.[5]

On 22 February 2014, Rolland refereed his last International match as Wales defeated France 27–6 in the 2014 Six Nations Championship at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.[6]

He refereed his last major European contest on 24 May 2014 in the Heineken Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.[7][8]

Rolland is a member of the Leinster Branch of Referees. In March 2016 Alain was appointed as World Rugby's 'High Performance 15s Match Officials' Manager', having previously worked as a mortgage broker in Dublin.[9]


  1. ^ "Pioneers celebrate 25th anniversary of first Scotland women's international". 14 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Byrne, Cormac (25 September 2013). "Irish referee Alain Rolland to retire at the end of the season". Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Rolland Selected To Referee World Cup Final". Irish Rugby. 7 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Joubert named World Cup final ref". BBC News. 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2011: referee Alain Rolland ruined semi-final with Sam Warburton red, says Warren Gatland". 15 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Dominant Wales show resurgent form against shapeless France". The Guardian. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Rolland to ref European final". Sport 24. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Heineken Cup final: Toulon v Saracens – as it happened". The Guardian. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  9. ^ "All Blacks: Rolland is lucky charm". New Zealand Herald. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2011.

External linksEdit