NZRU promote four to full time referee ranks

The NZRU have announce the High Performance referees team for 2016.

NZ new prof refsNew members joining the full-time High Performance Referees team are Wellington’s Ben O’Keeffe who is taking a break from his ophthalmology career; former Crusaders halfback Jamie Nutbrown, who graduated from New Zealand Rugby’s referee scholarship programme last year; North Harbour’s Brendon Pickerill; and Taranaki’s Paul Williams, all of whom will be added to the 2016 Investec Super Rugby roster.

They join the current full time referees, Nick Briant, Mike Fraser and Glen Jackson with Chris Pollock, continuing in the high performance team with Super Rugby duties in 2016.

Jessica Beard, Richard Kelly and Nick Briant have been selected to represent New Zealand on the international sevens circuit for next year.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen congratulated the new High Performance referees, “Identifying, developing and nurturing talent isn’t exclusive to players. Our team works very hard to promote, identify, recruit and develop refereeing talent.

“Recruitment is an important part of ensuring that New Zealand continues to be represented on the world stage in all aspects of the game – and refereeing is no different.

“To that end we are continuing with our Referee Scholarship which successfully helped Jamie Nutbrown transition into the professional ranks. Former New Zealand Under 20 representative and Hawke’s Bay Magpie, Hugh Reed is the recipient of next year’s scholarship. He’ll sit under our High Performance Referees team, and hopefully, he too will be able to develop his refereeing into the professional ranks.

“With registered refereeing numbers sitting at around 1900 across New Zealand, stories like Hugh’s and Jamie’s demonstrate that players do have a unique opportunity to extend their involvement in the game by taking up the whistle,” Sorensen said.

New Zealand Rugby Referees team 2016

Super Rugby, domestic competitions

  • Nick Briant – Bay of Plenty
  • Mike Fraser – Wellington
  • Glen Jackson – Bay of Plenty
  • Ben O’Keeffe – Wellington
  • Jamie Nutbrown – Canterbury
  • Brendon Pickerill – North Harbour
  • Paul Williams – Taranaki
  • Chris Pollock – Hawke’s Bay

National Squad: Domestic competitions

  • Kane McBride – Canterbury
  • Brett Johnson – Bay of Plenty
  • Angus Maybe – Auckland
  • Mike Lash – Tasman
  • Cameron Stone – Taranaki
  • Liam Scanlon – Canterbury
  • James Doleman – Auckland
  • Shane McDermott – Bay of Plenty

Sevens: World Series, domestic competitions

  • Jessica Beard – Counties Manukau
  • Richard Kelly – Taranaki
  • Nick Briant – Bay of Plenty

Referee Scholarship

  • Hugh Reed – Hawke’s Bay