After a storied career in Irish tag rugby that predates all records, Simon Edgecombe has refereed his last game on Irish soil. "Edge" and his family have moved to his native New Zealand and said goodbye to Dublin.
Edge's contribution to Irish tag rugby is unique and wide-ranging:
He was selected to referee at the 2015 ITF Tag World Cup on the Sunshine Coast and the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup in Limerick. In Limerick he was selected to referee the opening night Mixed Open game between Great Britain and South Africa. His final game on Irish soil was the Men's 30s World Cup final between Ireland and Australia and throughout the tournament he won the respect of players from all across the world.
He oversaw thousands of games in Dublin, often filling in at late notice and doing three or four nights a week all over the city and filling in as venue manager.
As a player he was a technical, authoritative ball-playing middle and was selected to play for the very first Irish tag rugby representative teams. He had a long playing career with (Loose) Pumas in the Premiership and the Dublin representative teams, among many others.
As a coach he took some of the brave first steps into international tag rugby, led Dublin to its first ever regional championships, and was assistant coach to Andrew Doyle as part of the Irish women's 35s team that took a silver medal in August's World Cup.
As a member of the tag community he made an incalculable contribution by acting as a friend, mentor, fundraiser, and enthusiastic volunteer for so much, and to so many.
Edge (#14) lines up for the national anthem at the 2013 British & Irish Cup at Old Crescent RFC.
Edge is officially on record as having officiated just under 3,750 games in Irish tag rugby. This figure doesn't account for training games, unofficial events, international games, regional competitions, blitzes, or the many charity events he volunteered at. The true number is likely to be well over 5,000.
He was known for his detailed grasp of the laws of the game, and widely regarded as one of Ireland's best ever tag refs. Anyone who has played more than a handful of games in Dublin is likely to have crossed paths with him, such was the spread of venues he refereed in ay given week.
Edge (right) as part of the refereeing team for the Social Cup final at the 2023 Dublin Tag Festival.
The ITRA is devastated to say goodbye to Edge and is eternally grateful for his extraordinary contribution over the years. You will struggle to find a referee with a better appreciation not only for the game, but for the people who play it. He achieved so much in his many roles, and has been a role model and mentor for a number of people that we could never calculate or explain.
While we are so sad to see him go, it is an immense source of pride that his final day in Irish tag began with a World Cup medal and ended with the peak achievement of his refereeing career. He deserved these rewards for what he achieved throughout the tournament and they capped his career in Ireland magnificently.
Everyone in ITRA wishes Edge and his family the best in their new adventure and he leaves Ireland held in the highest esteem as a referee, coach, venue manager, player, and above all as a person. Edge loves tag as much as it loves him back. He will be missed.