Mathieu Raynal

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Mathieu Raynal
Full name Mathieu Raynal
Date of birth (1981-08-09) August 9, 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Perpignan, France
Refereeing career
Years Competition Apps
Rugby Pro D2
Top 14
Challenge Cup
Heineken Cup
Test Matches

Mathieu Raynal, born 9 August 1981 in Perpignan France, is a professional rugby union referee who represents the French Rugby Federation. He officiates at the highest level in the Top 14, Challenge Cup and Heineken Cup, and is on the International Rugby Board referee panel.

Playing career[edit]

Raynal played for USA Perpignan and was part of the successful 1998 Junior Perpignan team that won the Junior Championships in France. He joined a local referees society in 2001, while representing the first XV from the University of Perpignan in 2001.[1]

Refereeing career[edit]

By the age of 25, Raynal had officiated amateur rugby matches in the Fédérale 3, Fédérale 2 and Fédérale 1, and was promoted to Rugby Pro D2, the second division of professional rugby in France. His first professional game a match official was between Grenoble and Toulon in the 2006–07 Rugby Pro D2 season, and was named on the Top 14 refereeing panel for the 2007–08 season. He was named on the International Rugby Board's refereeing panel for the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy, where he refereed four matches; Italy U20 v Argentina U20, South Africa U20 v Scotland U20, Scotland U20 v Tonga U20 and 9th place game Scotland U20 v Argentina U20.[2]

Mathieu Raynal's first Test Match as head official was between Malta and Netherlands in the 2008–10 European Nations Cup Second Division. However his first match in charge of a tier 1 fixture, was the 24 November 2012 Autumn international clash between Scotland and Tonga in Aberdeen.[3] Before this match, he had been a touch judge for the England clash with Australia a week before the Scotland-Tonga clash.


On March 8, 2013, Raynal was the referee for the Montpellier home game against Racing Métro in the 2012–13 Top 14 season. However at the 56th minute, he was caught between two rugby players, and later scans reveled he had a double fracture to his tibia and fibula.[4] He was unable to referee a match for almost a year, and he returned to refereeing on 8 February 2014 for the Toulon away clash with Montpellier. He is set to make his international Test match return on 22 March 2014 for the 2015 RWC Americas qualifier match between Uruguay and the United States.