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Andrew Brace is a former Belgian rugby union international and current rugby union referee who represents the Irish Rugby Football Union. Brace has refereed matches in the Pro14, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup. Brace refereed the 2014–15 British and Irish Cup final and the 2015–16 All-Ireland League final. In 2017 he began refereeing test matches.

Andrew Brace
Birth nameAndrew Brace
Date of birth (1988-06-15) 15 June 1988 (age 31) [1]
Place of birthCardiff, Wales
UniversityUniversity of St Mark & St John
Occupation(s)Community Rugby Officer
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010–2013 Old Crescent ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2013 Belgium
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
201x–201x Belgium Sevens
Refereeing career
Years Competition Apps
All-Ireland League
British and Irish Cup
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Six Nations Under 20s Championship
World Rugby Under 20 Championship
European Rugby Champions Cup
Test Matches
Summer Internationals
Rugby World Cup qualifier
Americas Rugby Championship

Early lifeEdit

Brace is originally from Cardiff, Wales. At the age of 11 he attended the 1999 Five Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Wembley. His rugby union hero growing up was Rob Howley. He started playing rugby union in Cardiff when he about 14 or 15. In his youth Brace also played the violin. He is a grade eight violinist. His violin teacher was the mother of Gethin Jones.[2][3] Between 2006 and 2009 Brace attended the University of St Mark & St John where he gained a BA in sports science and coaching. Between 2010 and 2017 Brace worked as a community rugby officer for Munster Rugby. He previously worked as a community development officer for Cardiff Blues.[4][5] Brace continued working as a community rugby officer until 2017 when, together with George Clancy, John Lacey and Joy Neville he was one of seven referees offered professional contracts by the IRFU.[6]

Playing careerEdit


While working as a community rugby officer for Munster Rugby, Brace also played both rugby union and rugby sevens for Old Crescent. [Note 1] [6][7][8][9][10][11]

Belgium internationalEdit

While playing for Old Crescent, Brace was contacted by an agency recruiting players eligible to play for Belgium. Brace was qualified to represent Belgium through his father's family. He subsequently helped Belgium win the 2012 Cup of Nations. He also played for Belgium in the 2012–14 European Nations Cup First Division. However his international career ended after he broke his leg and suffered serious ligament damage to his ankle.[2][6][8] Brace also played for the Belgium national rugby sevens team.[12]

Refereeing careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

While still working as a community rugby officer for Munster Rugby, Brace attended a schools tournament and was asked to referee a match because they were short of an official. The match was between Abbey CBS and St Mary's Town School. He was encouraged to take up refereeing by John Lacey.[3] Brace subsequently took charge of matches in both the British and Irish Cup and All-Ireland League. On 3 April 2015 he refereed the 2014–15 British and Irish Cup final between Worcester Warriors and Doncaster Knights. On 7 May 2016 he refereed the 2015–16 All-Ireland League final between Clontarf and Cork Constitution.[6][7][9][13] On 6 September 2015 Brace made his Pro14 debut when he took charge of a 2015–16 match between Cardiff Blues and Zebre.[3][14]

European competitionsEdit

On 14 November 2015 Brace made his European Rugby Challenge Cup debut, taking charge of a 2015–16 pool stage match between Gloucester and Zebre.[3][7] On 15 October 2016 Brace made his European Rugby Champions Cup debut, taking charge of a 2016–17 pool stage match between Wasps and Zebre.[3][15] On 22 April 2017 Brace took charge of the 2016–17 European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final between La Rochelle and Gloucester.[16][17]

International refereeEdit

Brace refereed matches in the 2016 Six Nations Under 20s Championship [18][19] and at the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship,[6][9][20] including the third place game between Argentina and South Africa. In 2017 Brace began refereeing test matches. On 28 May 2017 Brace took charge of a match between England and the Barbarians and on 10 June 2017 he took charge of a match between Canada and Georgia.[6] On 1 July 2017 Brace took charge of his first competitive test match, a 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier between Canada and the United States.[21] In addition to taking charge of test matches, Brace has also served as a touch judge/assistant referee in both the Six Nations Championship [22] and the Rugby Championship.[23] He was appointed to the 2019 Rugby World Cup as a touch judge.[24]


  • Emirates Cup of Nations




  1. ^ "Andrew Brace". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Getting to know: Andrew Brace". 20 December 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Andrew Brace Q&A". 2 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Andrew Brace". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ "My job in Munster Andy Brace Community Rugby Officer". 21 November 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Seven Irish referees awarded with professional contracts". 23 October 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d "Old Crescent's Andy Brace will referee European Challenge Cup clash between Gloucester and Zebre". 25 October 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Le groupe des Diables pour Dubaï" (in French). 29 November 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Rugby – Old Crescent's Brace to referee at U/20 World Championships". 7 June 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  10. ^ "2010 Meteor Munster Rugby Sevens". 21 August 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  11. ^ "2010 Meteor Munster Rugby Sevens Photos". 21 August 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  12. ^ "IRFU Referees Continue To Progress Through The Ranks". 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Joe Carbery's class to prove crucial for Clontarf's AIL title ambitions". 7 May 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Preview: Cardiff Blues v Zebre". 5 September 2015.
  15. ^ "European And B&I Cup Appointments For IRFU Referees". 14 October 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Brace And Lacey To Referee Challenge Cup Semi-Finals". 19 April 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Gloucester become first team to win in La Rochelle". 22 April 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-03. Retrieved 5 February 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "GUINNESS PRO12 Officials Involved in 2016 RBS 6 Nations". 4 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Six Nations: England U20 16-42 Wales U20". 11 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Brace Selected As Referee For World Rugby U-20 Championship". 31 March 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Rugby World Cup qualification secured by Eagles with Canada Day victory". 1 July 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  22. ^ "RBS Men's Six Nations 2017". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Referees Lacey And Brace Set For Rugby Championship Duty". 10 July 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Community Four Nations - Wales Dragonhearts v Ireland Wolfhounds". 20 July 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2018.