Referee Profile: Sean Liebich

The EORU is supportive of all members of the sport of rugby, including match officials. And we are actively seeking new referees! If you are interested in learning more about how to get involved and give back to the game in a different way, please email If you know of anyone in the rugby community that we should profile, please let us know.

Name: Sean Liebich

Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Number of years involved in rugby: 14 years. 10 – Player, 10 – Coaching, 2 – Reffing

Club/Previous team affiliation: Ottawa Irish

Favourite rugby team: Recency bias favours Japan.

What got you into refereeing: Got a bad concussion that ended my playing career and I started to focus on coaching.  Definitely wanted to stay involved and give back where I could. The time commitment of coaching became a little bit much for me, so I had to step back. I had thought about doing the ref course a bunch of times, but never ended up signing up. Finally, I decided to try it two years ago and I am really happy I did.  

Favourite part of refereeing: Being on the field. I can’t play rugby anymore, but it is fun to be a part of the game. I also really like the back and forth with players when it is in good spirits.  

Most memorable experience in rugby: Working with Rugby Canada’s Men’s Sevens team and being at the first Vancouver Sevens. Moonlight’s try and Hirayama’s kick to win against France was electric. 

What you love to do outside of rugby: Golf, yoga and a whole bunch of other sports. Fantasy hockey and football. And I also love to volunteer with the EORU and Special Olympics 

One piece of advice you would give to new referees: The best time to get involved is while you are still playing. The best teams and players in the world know the rulebook forwards and backwards. Reffing can help you understand the game a whole lot better. Also, if anyone ever gives you problems, offer them your whistle and let them try it out.  It is not as easy as it looks from the sidelines.