Alain Rolland is a former international rugby referee and seasoned financier. As a referee he was regarded as the best referee of the modern era. He refereed the 2007 Rugby World Cup final and was an assistant referee for the 2011 RWC final. At the 2011 World Cup Alain was the referee who controversially sent off the Welsh Captain Sam Warburton for a tip tackle in Wales’ semi final game versus France which many believe gave the unfancied French their path to the final. Thankfully he was the referee in charge in 2014 when the Welsh defeated the French in the Six Nations Championship in Cardiff.
Alain was a gifted player himself as a scrum half, winning three Irish international caps and representing provincial side Leinster, Blackrock and Molesey in England.
He retired from international refereeing in 2013 and embarked upon a new challenge of using his skills to his wealth of experience on and off the pitch both as an independent consultant for referee development within rugby, and a management consultant in the business world. “It’s a natural progression. The secrets of success in sport and business are very similar – the same values apply” says Alain.
In his role as a referee consultant, Alain is working with the iRB and a number of rugby unions to meet the needs of rugby referees, teams and coaches. The goal is to help them confront all challenges, to improve communication with players and officials, eliminate unforced errors and manage their way through the high pressures of a game.
With his extensive business Management experience Alain has also teamed up with Kotinos Partners and developed a critical skills management training programme ‘ Kotinos Critical Skills’ designed to be practical and action orientated. It uses a unique training style focussing on sport as a vital part of the learning vehicle. Like referees, anyone in management is required to lead to a process, so there is value in comparing leadership qualities on the pitch with those in business.
Alain has also been active as a motivational speaker for companies in both Ireland and overseas delivering keynotes in both English and French.