Australian referees break decade old drought

by Sam Phillips

For the first time since 2008, two Australian referees will officiate Test matches in the Northern Hemisphere in the same weekend.

Angus Gardner and Nic Berry will referee the France-New Zealand and Scotland-Samoa clashes, respectively, marking a big year for Australian officials on the world stage.

In total, 74 Australians were appointed by World Rugby to officiate international matches in 2017, up from 48 in 2016.

Gardner was crowned referee of the year at the 2017 Rugby Australia awards and rightfully so, given the stellar year he has had.Nic Berry has had a big couple of years. Photo: Getty ImagesHe's been the man in charge of four Tier One Tests this year and he took part in the All Blacks-Lions series as well, refereeing two of the midweek matches.

Berry has had a meteoric rise and refereed the World Rugby U20s final, having taken control of his first Super Rugby match in 2016.

There are also some rising stars among the Australian ranks, with Amy Perrett's highlight coming in the form of a Women's World Series final in Canada and Jordan Way also taking charge of the Men's World Series final in Singapore.