February 22, 2018
Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Pathways for young Referees in Regional NSW will be strengthened in 2018, with the announcement of a Country Rugby League Junior Representative Referees squad.


The exciting announcement brings the pathway in line with the National Structure of Officiating and mirrors the structure of both the New South Wales Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League Junior Representative programs. 


As per the National Structure of Officiating pathway, the CRL Junior Representative Referee‘s Squad will consist of Officials from the 2017 High Performance Squad, with a total of 20 referees selected to take part in the program.


Selected officials for the CRL Junior Representative Squad will commence training over the summer and will then be appointed to officiate throughout the 2018 CRL Country Championships.


NRL National Pathways Coach Shayne Hayne, who has been instrumental in the formation of the program, believes the new structure provides a great opportunity for young regional referees.


“With these new pathways and structures in place, it allows CRL referees to stay at home and not have to leave their area and still have the opportunity to receive additional education to assist them in becoming Elite match Officials,” said Hayne.


“There is now a clear pathway for CRL referees to become an elite match Official and I am confident this will translate into quality on-field performances.


“I’d like to thank Country Rugby League for their assistance in creating this opportunity for young referees throughout New South Wales.”

2018 Country Rugby League Junior Representative Referees squad:


Pat Allen Central Coast
Dylan Clarke Newcastle
Greg Digby Newcastle
Bayley Dimarco Group 3
Hayden Doughty Central Coast
Mitch Everest Northern Rivers
Brett Eyb Newcastle
Jack Greentree Central Coast
Brad Hart Group 16
Connor Hibbit Central Coast
Bryce Hotham Group 10
Tyrone Jordan Illawarra
Louis Matheson Newcastle
Nick Martin Group 21
Jack Nicholson Northern Rivers
Blake Riolo Illawarra
Jesse Rutter Group 21
Ryan Sweeney Group 16
Murray Wilson Newcastle
Zac Withers Group 3

Instagram - @nswrefs

December 17, 2017

Dear Members,

You can now access The Associations Instagram account - @nswrefs directly from the website at the top and bottom of any page.


Michael Jones

Executive Officer


**The service for Mr Jack Harris OAM will be on Thursday 21 December, 1.30pm at Shoalhaven Memorial Gardens Crematorium. Worrigee Road Worrigee - 2540.**



Dear Members,

Please see a message below from Gary Haines regarding the sad news of Jack Harris' passing.

Michael Jones

Executive Officer




It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing early this morning of Jack Harris, OAM.

Jack is regarded as the founding father of our Association who along with the "pioneers" formed our Association in 1966. Jack was the inaugural President of the Association, a position he held for nine years and our first Life Member in 1970. In 1972, the Jack Harris Senior Merit Award was created in his honour.

Jack was also a Life Member of the Penrith Rugby League Club, NSWRL Referees' Association and Parramatta Referees' Association

At this very sad time our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Hazel and their family.

Further information regarding funeral arrangements will be advised once this becomes available.

Gary Haines


Penrith District Rugby League Referees’ Association Inc.










Congratulations Bernard and Tony on your respective appointments.

The NSWRLRA wishes you both the best in your new roles.




NRL confirm officiating restructure.


The NRL has confirmed a new officiating structure following a review of refereeing across the game.


The new NRL officiating structure includes the elite level as well as development and pathways for referees nationally.


The revised structure will include:


  • the appointment of Bernard Sutton to the new role of Senior Manager - Officiating;
  • the appointment of Premiership-winning NRL Coach Michael Maguire as High Performance Coach - Officiating and Leadership Consultant;
  • Robert Finch taking the role of Senior Manager - Education, Development and Pathways;
  • Tony Archer's General Manager - Officiating role now covering the national structure rather than just the elite group.

As part of the new structure, Sutton will assume the day-to-day running of the elite referees group and the NRL Bunker while Maguire's role is to bring a football perspective across officiating programs and processes.

Maguire's role will also include developing a high-performance team and implementing performance programs.

NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said Maguire would provide a new perspective to the officiating structure.
"Michael is a Premiership-winner with South Sydney and Wigan and through his time as a coach he has had a strong focus on leadership," Canavan said.

"He has experience helping corporates with leadership and high performance culture across two countries.

"He has also been a respected and valued member of the NRL Competition Committee for several years, where his knowledge and insight have been able to shape the forward progress of the game.

"As part of this role, he will be part of relevant committees in the NRL football department.  Michael will also provide strategic consultancy to the broader organisation working with the NRL CEO, Head of People and Culture and Head of Football."

Canavan said Sutton had been a valued member of the officiating department in recent years and deserved the opportunity to take on this new role.
"He will lead the officials on a day-to-day basis and will also focus on the technical aspect of officiating," Canavan said.

Sutton said he was pleased to be given the opportunity to take on the new role.

"We have an outstanding group of officials and I'm looking forward to working with them all in this capacity through 2018 and beyond," Sutton said.

An appointments panel, led by Sutton, is in the process of being put together, to determine the appointment of match officials each week.

Canavan said the new structure was designed to improve officiating and pathways nationally.

"This is a different structure for the officiating group to what we have ever had before," Canavan said.

"Tony Archer's role will focus on the national programs, integrating education, development, recruitment, retention and high performance programs.

"I think he is ideally placed to develop the national structure."

Sutton, Maguire and Archer will begin their new roles immediately.


Contact Details

December 12, 2017

Dear Members and Affiliates,

The new contact details for the NSWRLRA are as follows.

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

Mobile: 0488-007-280


Best regards,

Michael Jones

Executive Officer





To Squad Members - a BBQ will be held at Vale of Ah Reserve Milperra after the final training session prior to the Christmas break and season 2018 on Saturday 16th of December.


Congratulations to Referee Sean Hampstead (NSWRLRA #777 NRL #7) who has been awarded Life Membership of the New South Wales Rugby League Referees Association for 2018.

Well done Sean and thoroughly deserved.


More to come.



Frank Leonard - AGM 2017

December 12, 2017

Congratulations Frank.

After 47 plus years of serving refereeing you deserve the highest of accolades.

Succeeding Les Matthews a month before he passed after 18 years in the EO role was a milestone. Then 2 years of being Minutes Secretary and 9 years of being Executive Officer of the NSWRLA leaves huge shoes to fill.

Your timeless service, dedication and at times unnoticed efforts have made The Association what it is today.

You are a valued Life Member of The Association and you have created a new benchmark for your successor.

All our very best to both you and Marie always.

Best regards always with sincere and heartfelt appreciation.


NSWRLRA - 2018 Board

December 11, 2017

The New South Rugby League Referees Association 110th Annual General Meeting was held tonight on Monday, 11 December 2017.





The Board of Directors for 2018.

  • Chairman - Paul Simpkins - Elected unopposed.
  • Executive Officer  - Michael Jones - Elected unopposed.
  • Director of Finance - Matthew Hewitt - Elected unopposed.
  • Director of Member Services & Director of Marketing & Communications - Faye Lehane - Elected unopposed.
  • Director of Referee Development & Director of Affiliate Liaison - Steve Clapson - Elected unopposed.

Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting will be available shortly.

Michael Jones

Executive Officer


Junior Representative Camp

University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus

2nd/3rd December 2017    

The Junior Representative camp held at UWS Bankstown this passed weekend was an outstanding success.

The New South Wales Rugby League Referees Association viewed this significant investment as an opportunity to further develop and engage young referees who are the future. Exposing the group to various aspects of what is required to reach goals and dreams is invaluable considering the demands and commitment needed to succeed.

Gone are the days of one training night a week. Young referees aspiring to become graded and then make NRL level have to focus on fitness levels, self evaluation and reviews similar to colleagues in higher grades. The feedback has been glowing re the exposure to training, theory, skills, nutrition and expectations to reach personal goals and to be the best you can be.

To the entire group we hope you enjoyed the weekend and found benefit for your personal development.

Sincere thanks for NSWRL’s Stuart Raper, Referees High Performance Manager for working with us to make the camp happen.

Congratulations and thanks to NSWRL’s Community Football Referees Development Officer - Gavin Badger for presiding over the weekend and to Peter Burke – High Performance Conditioning Coach for his dedication and passion to see people reach their physical peak and his talent for developing camaraderie.

Paul Simpkins





































Paul Simpkins






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