February 22, 2018
Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Hi All,


Bathurst - link below

The NSWRLRA Graded High Performance Squad ventured to Charles Sturt University at Bathurst from 19JAN-21JAN a highly outstanding outcome that exceeded expectations of the coaching staff.


Armidale - link below

The NRL Referees Squad also road-tripped it to The University of New England (UNE) from 22JAN-25JAN connecting regional areas with pathways to reach the NRL regardless of post code.


Board Meeting

The first NSWRLRA Board Meeting for 2018 has taken place and a general summary of it will be sent within the next few days.

Membership Fees

A reminder that membership fees are available to be paid with two options

  • $50 for five years of membership
  • $150 for life
  • Account details are CBA BSB 062-002 / AC 00908871 - use your name when you deposit so we know it's you!

NSWRL Competitions and AGM

The NSWRL competition draws were released today

The NSWRL AGM will be held on Friday 16 February at 4pm at the NSWRL offices 6 Herb Elliott Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park

Traditional Graded Metal Badges

We have ordered 30 new badges through Action Badges and we certainly hope we will be parting with a number of them through 2018!

Commonwealth Games - link below

The Commonwealth Games now recognise Rugby League as a sport to be included in their fold. Two of the NSWRL High Performance Graded Squad lads have been selected to officiate in Brisbane next month.

Cameron Paddy and Josh McGowan have a terrific opportunity ahead between 21FEB & 25FEB. Our Ambassador & Life Member Brian Barry has asked us to congratulate you on your achievement and Brian wishes you both all the very best. The Association has funded the airfares with Virgin Australia, the NRL has taken care of meals/transport and the Commonwealth Games have the accommodation covered.


That's a full lid for this week.

Michael Jones

Executive Officer


Fantastic news for NSWRLRA High Performance Graded members Cameron Paddy and Joshua McGowan who will fly to Brisbane on 21FEB2018 to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Cameron and Josh will spend 5 days in Brisbane to officiate in Commonwealth Games Rugby League fixtures.

An incredible opportunity driven by the NRL and particularly Jared Maxwell. Jared the Board of the NSWRLRA thanks you for your support and we look forward to the '5 day experience' feedback from both members at our first general meeting in 2018.

Again Cameron and Josh - a huge congratulations to you both. The Association is immensely proud of your selection and appointments.

Enjoy every moment...well done gents!

The Northern Daily Leader - Ellen Dunger


It’s one of the toughest gigs in sport and in an effort to encourage more kids in the bush to become referees, the National Rugby League’s elite-level officials made their way to Armidale for a training conference.

The 24-strong group took to the fields at the University of New England this week before their season heats up in early March.

General manager Tony Archer said bringing the squad to country areas is part of a program aimed at bridging a gap between refereeing in regional areas and making it to the elite level. 

“Within this area there has certainly been the growth into NRL but we need to make that more streamlined and more attractive,” he said. 

“That's one of the reasons the NRL have moved to a national structure - to support the state, support the Country Rugby League in officiating.

“It [UNE] is also going to become an area where we grow officiating out of, it will be one of what were are calling our hub organisations or facilities that we are going to run across the country.”

It can take between five and 10 years to reach elite-level status as a referee, depending on a person’s capabilities. 

Not only to the NRL want to reduce the time it takes but increase the number of people taking up the role. 

Refereeing has experienced a massive amount of changes since Archer made his first grade debut in 1999 and he believes there is still room for change.  

“The support we have around the referees now with strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, the capacity to evaluate their performance quickly, we are a full-time professional unit in that space because the game demands that, it is that sort of sport,” he said. 

“The 10 year plan is the next generations of referees and we need to widen that base, widen that from our traditional male dominant space into indigenous programs, women.

“There are two of our semi-elite female officials here but we need to widen that base, we need to look at things like touch football and the conversion around that.”

Elite referee David Munro made his way up the ranks in Group 19 before working his way up in Sydney.

He had refereed A grade grand finals before he moved to Sydney but had to start back at the bottom again, officiating junior matches before making his way up to NRL feeder competitions, Harold Matthews and SG Ball as well as the now discontinued Holden Cup under 20’s tournament. 

One of the changes implemented since Munro made his move to the state’s capital from Glen Innes was to recognise the skills developed in regional areas. 

“For referees coming through it is so much better now, you can get so much further without having to move to Sydney and when you do move to Sydney you are recognised for what you have done in the country.

“I moved to Sydney and started at the bottom of junior reps, I refereed an A grade grand final in Group 19 and the next weekend I refereed an under 14s because that is where I had to start,” he said.

“Where you are in the country, they put that on an equal level.”

The former O’Connor Catholic College student said starting in the centre of the field in the country gave him the skills to handle the transition to refereeing high level matches. 

“When I moved to Sydney I joined South Sydney referees, the biggest change I had there was there was a ground manager who was in charge of crowd control and if you had an issue they dealt with it whereas in country if you have an issue you have to deal with it yourself,” he said. 

“You can speak to a local club but half the time the issue is with the local clubs fans and they are not going to want to offend their local fans.

“It is tougher footy I found in the country, part of that being because you are on your own, you know the players and they test you a lot more. I found refereeing in the country helped me so much more.

“I refereed harder games, not as in skills and ability, that's all the same, but harder as in what the players test you with. That taught me and galvanised me towards steeling with anything I have come across so far in Sydney.”

Although it’s a tough job, Munro encouraged anyone who loves the sport to give refereeing a go.

“It is a great job, I get to do it full-time, it is the best job in the world,” he said. 

“I get to hang out with my mates everyday, I have traveled to places I never would have traveled to ever – Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Perth and that sort of stuff which I have never had any thoughts of going to.”

Right behind the NSWRLRA squad's successful 3 day camp in Bathurst the NRL Squad left for Armidale this past Monday 22JAN2018 at the University of New England.

An expected arduous 4 days along with travel. Physical, mental teamwork, leadership and character building plus more. A packed 4 days.

The NSWRLRA wishes the NRL Squad all the very best for 2018 under the leadership of Bernard Sutton, Robert Finch, Jared Maxwell, Shayne Hayne, Russell Smith and Tony Archer.

May 2018 bring much success and opportunity.


Michael Jones

Executive Officer

A message to all Associations from Life Member Doug Keen.

Hi Everyone,

After receiving a couple of calls from associations this week about the supply of whistles and flags I thought I would check with everyone if you wanted to order any from our supplier at Kanga Sports.

Acme Thunderer Whistles are $12 each and a set of blue and red flags at $16 delivery $12 bit more for outer Sydney.

Just let me know and I can order for you.

Also if any associations has any excess clothing or a new sponsor and have gear left over, looking for donations to send to developing areas. We have the International 9's at Cabramatta on Feb 3 so we can easily give some Pacific Islands come of the gear to take home with them.

Just let me know to arrange how to get any clothing you may have.


Doug Keen

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Promising NSW referees swelter through drills in the Central West

Forty of rugby league’s most promising match officials underwent three days of physical, tactical and mentally-challenging activities at the inaugural New South Wales Rugby League Referee’s high performance training camp at Bathurst on Friday to Sunday. 

Under the guidance of NSWRL Referees high performance manager Stuart Raper and former NRL referees Shayne Hayne and Jared Maxwell, the camp, held at Charles Sturt University, incorporated team-building exercises and educational seminars. 

As well, training drills were performed in the heat to improve on-field communications and decision-making in a high performance environment. 

Raper, a former Cronulla Sharks coach and son of legendary St George lock Johnny Raper, said the camp was held in Bathurst to build up a “camped up environment”. 

“We wanted to get them out of Sydney and created a camped up environment, by part of the camp, they travel,” he said.

“They don’t travel a lot together, being together in a bus and being in that professional environment, like a NRL team. 

“As well, we are trying to set up training hubs in universities across the country, especially NSW country, so up-and-coming referees can train there and not come to Sydney, if they want to be a referee.

“We can monitor their progress [in the country].”

Raper said the heat was a struggle.

“It was pretty hot in the rooms, sleep wise. We tried to do the tougher sessions in the morning and afternoon,” he said.

“It’s been a very hot weekend and a lot of water drunk over the course of the weekend.”

Raper said the camp was highly successful and one of the best he’s ever been to.

“I was impressed with the guys attitude,” he said.

“We had a team aspect to the camp, we there was four teams. It was very competitive and really professional about the whole thing.

“There was physical components as well. We really touched them up. 

“There was no real down time. They were going from session to session.”

The camp also held educational sessions, where referees were updated on new specifics of rugby league and other general referee tools to help improve officiating. 

Raper praised the facilities at Charles Sturt University. 

The camp participants were also exhausted by the end of each day. 

“There was a lot of snoring on the bus on the way home,” he said.

“We had them up at six o’clock in the morning. One morning we got up and walked around Mount Panorama. 

“They’ve been long days and short nights.” 

Referees that participated in the camp will officiate games in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW – one of the NRL’s feeder competitions – before possibly graduating to the NRL. 

The camp was conducted by NSWRL, in conjunction with the NSWRL Referees Association and involved NSWRL high performance squad management staff, medical and support team members and executive members from the association.

"HARD WORK" NSWRL Referees operations manager Paul Kalina and NSWRL Referees high performance manager Stuart Raper at CSU's University Oval, running a coaching clinic on Saturday afternoon. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

Today saw the conclusion of a highly successful camp for the NSWRLRA High Performance Squad at Charles Sturt University at Bathurst.

Investing in our future referees has been a priority of The Association.

We thank the NSWRL in Stuart Raper and team and also CEO Dave Trodden for his support.

Also the coaches - Jared Maxwell, Russell Turner, Paul Kalina, Shayne Hayne and of course Peter Burke our valued and respected trainer.

Thanks to all of you the squad for embracing the camp in the professional manner in which you did. You are a credit to yourselves and our Association.

The Board sincerely hopes you have taken a lot away from Bathurst as we launch into season 2018. Well done.


Bathurst 2018 - Day 2

January 20, 2018

Day 2 at Bathurst.

The NSWRLRA High Performance Squad continue to experience coaching, training, teamwork, lectures around leadership and a guest speaker in NRL Coach Matt Elliott.

Images of day 2 below...

Great work Team and thanks again PK for the images...


Bathurst 2018 - Day 1

January 19, 2018

Officials' Revolutionary Training Camp

Forty of Rugby League’s most promising match officials will undergo three days of physical, tactical and mentally-challenging activities at the inaugural NSWRL Referees' High Performance training camp at Bathurst from today.

Here are a number of images from Bathurst on Day 1.


Dear Life Members, Members, Junior Reps, Trainers and Affiliates,

A review of contact details is being conducted as it is periodically prudent to do so as we move, change email addresses and phone numbers.

Not everyone will receive this message on the web however it's a start and we may well capture 80-90% of changes if any.

If your details have changed recently may I invite you to send your current details through to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if you could spread the message that would be helpful and appreciated.

If you feel confident your details are up to date which most would be then there is no need for you to email.


Michael Jones

Executive Officer

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