Perrett ticks off another milestone

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A whirlwind year is continuing for Australian referee Amy Perrett, set to become the first female assistant referee to feature in a Super Rugby match.

Fresh from the Sevens Olympic repechage in Monaco, Perrett will head straight into another crucial challenge, assisting Angus Gardner in this Saturday’s Rebels vs Stormers clash.

Gardner, with whom Perrett has shared a few milestones, was quick to remind Perrett of the stakes of the match up.

“I got an email the other day saying this is a must-win for the Stormers to stay at the top of the conference so I read that and you go, ‘thanks for that’,” she joked.

The big stage is nothing new for Perrett, who has officiated a Women’s Rugby World Cup final, the women’s Six Nations and has been named among the referees for next month’s Rio Olympics.Amy Perrett is ticking off another milestone. Photo: ARU Media

This weekend’s appointment is the latest in a number of firsts Perrett has ticked off and while her trailblazer tag is something of which she is conscious, it’s not a status she wants to define her.

“I don't overthink it too much -  you can put a lot of pressure on yourself being the first girl I think,” she said.

“I'm there for a reason and I've just got to focus on the thought that I'm there because I deserve it and I've just got to do a good job, my job and everything will sort itself out.”

Amy Perrett will be one of two Aussie referees at the Olympics. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile her concentration is always on just performing, Perrett hopes her achievements do show women in other SANZAAR nations that there are opportunities for women to break through.

“It gives an opportunity for people for girls in New Zealand or South Africa to say, ‘If the Australian girl can do it why can't we?’,” she said.

“It puts on a bit of pressure (on me) to perform well so that pathway can become clearer and more open for girls to get through.

And while female referees aren’t as common, Perrett said it would only be a matter of time before people realise the perks of the globe-trotting career pathway.

“There's so many opportunities for women," she said.

“You can ref both men's and women's side of the game, you can ref both 15s and 7s, there's more opportunities for females.

“You can travel the world, it's a great doesn't get too much exposure, what actually you get to do.

“I'd encourage anyone to give it a go.”

The New South Wales referee will assist in the Reds vs Rebels match on July 15 before heading to Rio at the end of the month.

And after that? She’s hoping to finally put her feet up and reflect on a milestone season.