Jim Fleming (rugby union)

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James Mathieson Fleming MBE (born 8 July 1951 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom) is a retired Scottish Rugby Union Referee who in his career refereed 41 major international matches and was a touch judge in a further 75. He became a referee in 1973 after he was unable to play due to concussion. His first international was in 1985 when he refereed the triple crown decider between Ireland and England at Lansdowne Road. He is one of only two referees who has refereed in four Rugby World Cups (1987, 1991, 1995 and 1999), refereeing 12 matches. He refereed two semi finals - Australia v New Zealand (1991) and France v New Zealand (1999) as well as three quarter finals, Ireland v Australia (1991), South Africa v Samoa (1995) and England v South Africa (1999).[citation needed]He also refereed the opening match of the 1991 Rugby World Cup between England and New Zealand.

He refereed the Women's World Cup Final in 1994 between England and the USA. He was an international referee for 18 seasons and is still Scotland's most capped referee.[citation needed]

In the six years he officiated in the European (Heinekin) Cup, Fleming refereed 4 Cup semi finals, 1 Challenge Cup semi final and the 1998 final between Bath and Brive. He later served for 5 years as a director of the European Cup Ltd.[citation needed]

Other credits to his name include 18 consecutive appearances at the Melrose Sevens, including refereeing 4 finals and for his final official match he became the first Scotsman to referee Scotland when he was in charge for their match against the Barbarians at Murrayfield in May 2001[citation needed]

He retired in 2001 at the age of 50.[1] and was awarded an MBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List. He received the IRB's distinguished services award for refereeing in 2004 and the Scottish Rugby Union's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.[citation needed]

Following his retirement from active refereeing he served as a director both on the Scottish Rugby Board and the on Board of European Rugby Cup Ltd. He also sat on the SRU's governing Council as the referees' representative. He is now[when?] a referee assessor officiating at domestic, European and representative level.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Fleming blows time on ref career". scotsman.com. Retrieved 14 June 2015.