Stephen Hilditch elected President of IRFU

The retired schoolteacher follows on from Martin O'Sullivan as the 129th president of the Irish Rugby Football Union.

IRFU, president, Stephen Hilditch,

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

An eminent international referees, Stephen Hilditch has been elected as the President of the IRFU. 

The retired schoolteacher is the first member of Grosvenor RFC in Belfast to be elected to the office.

Hilditch has been involved in Irish rugby for decades, and an official statement from the IRFU noted that he had made a "distinguished contribution to the affairs of the Ulster Branch and IRFU over a period of almost 30 years."

In his refereeing career, he was selected for 18 Test matches and over 40 touch judge appointments, which included mates at the 1987, '91 and '95 Rugby World Cup tournaments, as well as taking charge of the New Zealand v Scotland third/fourth place play off in 1991 and the semi final between England and New Zealand in 1995.

Hilditch has held a number of positions in the IRFU after joining the Committee in 2004. He was as a member of the IRFU's Management Committee between 2009 and 2015, Chairman of the Rugby Standing Committee, Chairman of the Referees and Women's sub-committees and he also sat on the Finance, Schools, Strategic planning and Laws Advisory sub committees.

Image: Phillip Orr. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Phillip Orr was named as Vice-President of the IRFU. A former Irish international, Orr has worked as the manager of the Irish U21 squad, as well as served as the president of Old Wesley during the club's centenary in 1991.