David McHugh

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David McHugh
Date of birth (1955-12-21) December 21, 1955 (age 60)
Place of birth Limerick, Ireland
Rugby union career
Refereeing career
Years Competition Apps
Rugby World Cup
Test Matches
Heineken Cup

David McHugh (born 21 December 1955) is an international Rugby Union Test referee. Born in Limerick, Ireland and educated at St Munchin's College[citation needed], McHugh has refereed matches at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cups, as well as refereeing the finals of the 1996 and 2001 Heineken Cup. He officiated at his first international game in 1994.

McHugh hit the headlines in August 2002 when a drunk South African fan, identified as Pieter Van Zyl, ran onto the pitch and assaulted him during the Tri Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand in Durban, South Africa.[1] Upon the attack New Zealand Captain, Richie McCaw, and South Africa's AJ Venter, tackled the drunk invader to the ground before he was dragged away by security. McHugh was left with a dislocated shoulder and had to be carried off on a stretcher. van Zyl was convicted of trespassing and assault, and was sentenced to three months in jail, fined R3000, and banned from attending all rugby matches in South Africa for life. Having twice come on as a replacement referee in 2001, he is the only referee ever to have both replaced another referee and have been replaced during a Test match.[2]


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