Biography Karl Dickson, born August 2, 1982 in Salisbury, is an English international rugby union and rugby sevens referee, aged 41. He was a professional player before becoming a referee: he defended the colors of Harlequins in the Premiership between 2009 and 2017, even winning the English championship in 2012 and the European Challenge in 2011. He occupied the position of scrum half, top of his 1m75 and 85 kg. Having become a referee after ending his career at the end of the 2016-2017 season, he refereed his first international match in October 2020. This year he is participating in his first World Cup as head referee, after having taken part in the of 2019 in Japan as an assistant referee.
A first with the XV of France
Karl Dickson has a special history with the Blues, since the first international match he refereed took place at the Stade de France. On October 24, 2020, the XV of France faced Wales for a friendly match. The Blues delivered a superb performance, winning by a score of 38 to 21 thanks in particular to two tries from Antoine Dupont and a 100% success at the foot for Romain Ntamack. All the French try scorers from this evening in 2020 are also in the game for this 2023 World Cup, with the exception of Teddy Thomas: Cyril Baille, Antoine Dupont and Charles Ollivon.
Criticized by Stade Toulousain supporters
Karl Dickson is not particularly appreciated by some of the Stade Toulousain fans. In question, a semi-final of the European Cup which he had refereed on May 14, 2022, at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin between Toulouse and Leinster. The Toulouse team had been largely dominated and lost by a score of 40 to 17. Many players from the French XV were on the pitch for this defeat: Thomas Ramos, Anthony Jelonch, Cyril Baille, Antoine Dupont, François Cros, Dorian Aldegheri and Julien Marchand. But on social networks, notably X (formerly Twitter), many observers had criticized the refereeing of the Englishman Karl Dickson. Many French people had criticized decisions in favor of the Irish in Leinster, often accusing Anglo-Saxon referees of favoritism for the British teams.