Jun 30, 2015
Old boy Haughton to ref at 7s and the City
Former Saracens wing Richard Haughton will be returning to north London this weekend, as a referee at 7s and the City's CME Group 7s tournament.
Haughton, who recently held Saracens’ Premiership try-scoring record until 7s and the City organiser David Strettle overtook him with his Premiership semi-final try away to Northampton Saints, is looking to become a full-time referee much like his former Saracens teammate, Glen Jackson.
“In my last year in Perpignan I started to think what I wanted to be doing after I’d finished playing," said the former Saracens flyer. "Refereeing was one of the options I had, and after speaking to some other players they really thought that it was a good fit for me."
After retiring from playing in 2014 for French side Perpignan, Haughton put the wheels in motion to become a referee. A year on, he is now preparing to referee in 7s and the City.
Haughton: “Last summer I came over to England to speak to Chris White (National Referee Academy Manager) and current Premiership referee Andrew Small to speak to them about the idea of becoming a ref. I’ve now had my accreditation since November 2014, and has been progressing from there really.
“There’s a few players coming through wanting to referee. There’s Karl Dickson at Harlequins, who will also be refereeing at 7s and the City, Martyn Wood (ex-Wasps and Bath scrum-half) who is now on the national panel of referee’s, so the RFU and other governing bodies are encouraging players to make the transition to bring their experience of playing into refereeing."
Richard will be following in the footsteps of former Sarries fly-half Glen Jackson. The Kiwi fly-half who still holds the clubs record points haul in the Aviva Premiership, is now one of World Rugby’s most recognisable referee’s after picking up the whistle in 2010.
“I’ve been messaging Glen recently, touching upon his experiences of making the switch and how he found the transition,” said Haughton. “He’s been a fountain of knowledge which is nice to have. I think what helped Glen was his own personality going into the change, and in a couple of years he was straight into the Super 15s and now he’s refereed England at Twickenham and is on the Referee’s list for this year’s World Cup. He’s great example to follow.”
Haughton made 165 appearances for the Men in Black during a decade of service for the club, and the former England Saxons and Sevens star is eagerly anticipating his return to the club, albeit, in new surroundings.
“I came down last season to referee an U15s game, and being around Allianz Park you can sense that it’s a huge step-up from Vicarage Road in terms of facilities,” he said.
“The whole set-up at Saracens has come on leaps and bounds since I’ve left, with any team you want to see them progress as much as possible and they really have. I’m looking forward to catch up with as many people as I can.”