Australian referees work within a fully integrated ‘hands on’ referee program as an important part of the HPU. The referees are fully committed to improvement through a coordinated program with the national referee coach which utilises the current HPU (Wallaby) staff and their expertise.

This time in the office at ARU early in the week, provides an opportunity for complete game analysis, game management, preparation for games, tapping into Wallaby coaching expertise, as well as a coordinated strength & conditioning program.

Some referees have been talent identified specifically for 7s and have benefited again from immersion in the HPU 7s programs.

The HPU Referee program have also identified and recruited two former premier grade players in Brisbane who will be fast tracked under the guidance of our national referee coaches.




Ian Smith
  DOB: 01/02/1979
Super Rugby Debut: 2008
Super Rugby Matches: 10
Test Debut: 2008, Samoa v Tonga
Test Matches: 1

Pre Game Rituals:
Watch a game of rugby before i head to the ground to mentally focus.
Refereeing Highlight:
My Super Rugby debut at Carisbrook between Highlanders v Sharks. It was a nail biting encounter, with the Highlanders nearly pulling off the upset of the year. Sharks came away with the win, 19 - 17. 
Funny Ref's Story:
In that same debut I stepped backwards onto a player and ended up base over apex... then gave him the filthiest look like it was his fault. I apologised to him later over  a beer.

Steve Walsh
  DOB: 28/03/1972
Super Rugby Debut: 1997
Super Rugby Matches: 65
Test Debut: 1998, Argentina v France
Test Matches: 38
Pre Game Rituals:
None. I have always been scared that if I had rituals and somehow they got mucked up it would make me nervous. So i just go with the flow.
Refereeing Highlight: 
2007 Super Rugby Final - Played in Durban in front of a full house, with a fantasitc atmosphere. The Bulls got up and won in extra time through a try to Brian Habana. On review the Sharks were the better side but through tenacity and great leadership, the Bulls stuck to it and got up for an incredible win.

Andrew Lees
  DOB: 07/06/1979
IRB 7's Debut: Adelaide, 2008
IRB 7's Tournaments: 18
IRB 7's Cup Finals: 10 (Wellington 2008, 2009, RWC 7's Dubai 2009, Hong Kong 2009, 2010, Adelaide 2009, 2010, 2011, Las Vegas 2011, London 2011)
Other Stats: Super Rugby Assistant Referee 2009 - 2011, ITM Cup 2009, Currie Cup 2010
Pre Game Rituals:
Watching music videos on TV, drinking Powerade with lunch. Also, blowing into my whistle the wrong way to warm it up.
Funny Ref's Story:
Refereeing a third grade match in Sydney I copped a close quarters falcon (ball to the head) from a kick. Provided plenty of entertainment for the players and spectators



Australian HPU Referee Structure:

  • National Programs Manager - Anthony Eddy
  • HPU National Referee Coach - Andrew Cole
  • Referee Administrator -
  • National Referee Selectors - Wayne Erickson, Andrew Cole, Scott Young
  • National Referee Coaches - Andrew Cole, Mick Tanzer, John McCarthy
  • National Panel - Angus Gardner, Richard Goswell, Rohan Hoffman, Will Houston, James Leckie, Andrew Lees, Ed Martin, Damien Mitchelmore, Simon Moore, Anthony Moyes, Matt O'Brien, Julian Pritchard, Nathan Pearce, Steve Walsh, Ian Smith
  • Television Match Official - George Ayoub, Matt Goddard, Steve Leszczynski