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Rugby official Matt Carley making great progress up the refereeing ladder

Matt Carley
Matt Carley

By Alex Hoad

Rugby referee Matt Carley has made a significant step up the ladder by officiating at an international rugby sevens competition in Dubai this month.

The Deal PE teacher - who works at the Folkestone Academy - was invited to referee at the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series event.

The 25-year-old was in the middle as England marched to victory in the tournament, overcoming Samoa 29-21 in the final.

Rugby sevens is known for being a particularly gruelling form of the game, with 20-minute matches, often end-to-end, with plenty of pacy, powerful players.

Carley (pictured) - a former University of Gloucestershire student who took up officiating at the age of 16 - became the first person to be awarded the RFU Scholarship for Rugby Refereeing after winning a scholarship from the RFU which ran alongside his sports science degree.

This season is his first year on the National Panel of Referees following promotion by the RFU and he has already refereed at National 1 and 2 level and has also run the line in the Championship, the second tier of domestic rugby.

Carley said: "I am absolutely loving it. Going up through every level it is a different world. I am very happy with things at the moment, but my goal is still to get to the Premiership.

"It was an amazing experience to go to Dubai. When you go up a level, like going up to the international sevens standard, everything goes up a notch, everything is taken more professionally."

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