Foley finished the game where he sustained the injury

Referee Tom Foley fractured three ribs after getting caught in a player collision during a Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers.

Foley, who stood down from international refereeing after the Rugby World Cup, took charge of Chiefs’ 29-10 win over Leicester just before Christmas. A clip of him getting tackled went viral and he could be heard saying: “Let me know you’re doing that next time, boys.”

The incident happened in the first half but the referee finished the match. It has now been reported Foley fractured three ribs, first reported by The Telegraph. Watch the incident:

Foley was involved in the officiating of Harlequins’ 24-3 victory over Newcastle Falcons last Friday but as a TMO. He will also be taking up the role for Leinster and Stade Francais’ clash in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

The referee is aiming to be back on the whistle by the end of January.

Foley has been a rugby referee since 2010, starting in the National Leagues. Since then he has refereed in various different league but has wracked up over 200 Premiership games, including three finals.

He has also been involved in four Champions Cup finals. Foley will continue to referee at club level but hung up his international referee whistle after the 2023 Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand.

He cited online abuse as the reason as to why he was stepping back from the international game. His decision followed a similar one by Wayne Barnes, who retired from all refereeing in 2023.

Foley said: “The pressure and scrutiny I came under after the Rugby World Cup final, along with a torrent of criticism and abuse online, has helped to reaffirm that this is the right decision for me at this point in my life.”

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