Referees of tomorrow enhance skills at Australian Schoolboy Championships

by staff

Australian Rugby in partnership with TNT Express has brought together some of the best young referees for an in-depth training session, the TNT Junior Referee Development Clinic at the Australian Schoolboy Championships at St Ignatius’ College in Sydney on Thursday.

The tournament has provided an excellent platform for junior referees to watch and learn from the best in Australian refereeing.

Australian Rugby’s Match Official Program Manager Jamie McGregor said the training at the Championship was a great opportunity for young refs.

“The kids really take a lot from the day and learn the ins and outs of what it means to be a modern day Rugby ref.”

“We give them a breakdown of how the refs communicate during a match, we show them how to manage players on the sideline and look at the positioning of refs in action during the match.

“It’s a great hands-on learning experience and the guys really get a lot out of hearing from professional refs.

“Referees from all levels – school, club and the professional game – are an integral part of Australian Rugby so it is very important that we continue to train the next generation to the high standards expected of an Australian ref.”

Australian Asteron Life Super Rugby referee Angus Gardner was on hand throughout the day and talked about what a career in refereeing could lead to.

“As a professional Rugby ref, not only do you have the opportunity to travel the world but you also get to work with some amazing professional athletes.”

“For me it was great to just engage with people as passionate about refereeing as I am and answer questions,” Gardner said.

A day before his 17th birthday, junior referee James Palmer from Ballina on the NSW Far North Coast said he took a lot from the experience.

“Talking to Angus (Gardner) was a great highlight and understanding the background of a Super Rugby referee and what you need to do to get there was really inspiring.”

“Angus has obviously had a great rise through the refereeing ranks to be where he is today. Hearing his story has certainly given me something to work towards.”