New Zealand Rugby has named its High Performance Referees for 2015, prioritising the continued development of our best referees, bringing on the next generation of talented officials and ensuring that New Zealand’s representative competitions have the right refs in the middle, with the right resources behind them.
The High Performance Referees squad is made up of New Zealand’s most experienced and best up-and-coming referees. Members of the squad receive coaching, education and support from New Zealand Rugby, including camps and training resources. Selection in the squad is a key component for people looking to establish a full-time career in officiating, with New Zealand’s next top referees likely to come from the Development Squad and Wider Training Group.
Refs from 14 Provincial Unions have been named in the squads, with Bay of Plenty and Wellington contributing the highest number, particularly at the top level. Selection was based largely on performances throughout the 2014 competitions, including ITM Cup, the Pink Batts Heartland Championship and the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament.
The full squads are as follows:
Professional Referees: Chris Pollock (Wellington), Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty), Mike Fraser (Wellington), Nick Briant (Bay of Plenty), Ben O’Keeffe (Wellington) and Jamie Nutbrown (Bay of Plenty, 2014 High Performance Referee Scholarship recipient)
Investec Super Rugby Squad: Kane McBride (Canterbury), Shane McDermott (Bay of Plenty), Brendon Pickerill (North Harbour), Mike Lash (Tasman) and Paul Williams (Taranaki)
Television Match Official Squad: Vinny Munro (New Zealand Rugby), Ben Skeen (Auckland), Glenn Newman (North Harbour), Chris Wratt (Tasman) and Aaron Paterson (Waikato)
National Squad: Richard Kelly (included Sevens) (Taranaki), Angus Mabey (Auckland), Brett Johnson (Bay of Plenty), Cam Stone (Taranaki) and Liam Scanlon (Canterbury)
Development Squad: James Doleman (Otago), Vincent Ringrose (Wellington), Alistair Payne (Wairarapa Bush), Danny Morrison (North Harbour), Blair Barclay (Canterbury), Michael Winter (Waikato) and Richard Gordon (Wellington)
Wider Training Group: Nick Hogan (Wellington), Tim Griffiths (Manawatu), Adam Morrison (Otago), Kyle Harris (Auckland), Jonathon Paterson (North Harbour), Miah Williams (Thames Valley), Boris Juliana (Northland), Nick Webster (North Otago)
The Women’s Referee Squad for 2015 will be named in the lead-up to the Women’s Provincial Championship while the 2015 recipient of the New Zealand Rugby High Performance Referee Scholarship will be named in the near future.