New National Referee Development Program Launched

by Rugby Australia

Following over a year’s worth of planning, this December Rugby Australia has launched a new development pathway structure for rugby referees across Australia.

The changes come following the results of previous annual surveys of our Australian match official population, which identified the referee development pathway as a high priority area for improvement. The new approach reflects in part the hard work of outgoing National Talent ID Coordinator Michael Tanzer, and is centred around three key elements:

Communication – Formalised relationships between ref/coaches with accountability, and Individual Season Plans for all referees.

Competition – More competitive environment while in the pathway with referees more in charge of their own development.

Culture – Reflect the values of the National Match Official Team (professional, authentic, accountable) at each level.

Two new groups of referees join Rugby AU’s long-standing School Student Scholarship program to form three levels of development. For each group there are various expectations both on the referees (to hit fitness targets, do online match reviews, etc) and on Rugby AU (to provide dedicated coaching, and communicate regarding each referee’s standing with regard to the Rugby AU Referee Profile, etc).

The groups will be reviewed every 4 months. The program has the support of the Rugby AU High Performance department's Referee Manager Scott Young, who will be appointing a National Referee Development Coach in 2019. This new role will have responsibility in overseeing the the operation of the new program, in concert with the Community Rugby Match Official Manager, Jamie McGregor.

See below for the announcement of the referees who will begin 2019 in each group; click here to see a diagram of the new Referee development pathway.

Premiership Group

Referees who Rugby AU consider of a standard that they could be regularly appointed to 2nd Grade Premiership in Sydney/Brisbane or higher.

QLD: Peter Buchanan, Jr., Brett Cronan, Jack Gohl, Cholm Johnson, Nick Leask, Duncan Male, Roderick O’Callaghan, Aaron Pook, Andrew Twist.

NSW: Matt Abraham, David Conway, Andrew Cox, Max Fulton, Greg Johnstone, Matt Kellahan, Richard Manchee, James Marshall, Colm McCaughan, Tom Nicholl, James Quinn, Brad Smith, Lincoln Stollery, Ben Wawn.

NSW Country: Jarryd Logan, Dru Tonks, Kev Twomey

ACT: James Hagan, Brodie Ingram, Reuben Keane, James Morris

WA: Kyle Burnett, Justin Foster, Mark Sherriff

VIC: Oli Kellett, Amber McLachlan, Shannon McLachlan

Development Group

Referees who have refereed at least 1 year of adult rugby (generally in age group 19-30) in whom Rugby AU see the potential to referee at a 1st Grade level (local). Maximum of 3 years in the group.

QLD: Alec Camplin, Jeremy Markey, Charlie Marshall, George Myers, Lara West

NSW: James Boyer, Alex Carmichael, David Fungalei, Oliver Herbert, Al Wilson

NSW Country: Xavier Edwards, Nik Gaal, Jared Lynch

ACT: Mitch Beissner, Harry Fenton, Petrus van Aswegen

WA: Nick Neary, Tom Pascoe, Michael Ward

VIC: William Bailey, Justin De Waal, Yvonne Savea

School Student Scholarship

One-year program for referees in their final year of school (or equivalent year if in vocational training) who show commitment to refereeing after they leave school, and demonstrate potential to referee at a high level.

QLD: Jack Atthow, Andrew Balch, Max Chandler, Addison Hickman, Jimmi Thompson, Thomas Wallis, Luca Wilson

NSW: Angus Cameron, Ben Higgins, Sam Jagoe-Fisher, Jack Jones, Marcus Karozis, Cian McCann, Hamish McKay, Elliot Porter, Fred Regan, Alec Silins, Anders Steglick, William Taylor, Ben Tuckfield

NSW Country: Dylan Whitelaw

ACT: Hayden Pepper

WA: Rourke Tuxworth, Jacob van der Meulen

VIC: Matt Manester

TAS: Matilda Grant