Ganley and Mahoney added to NZ National Referee Squad

New Zealand Rugby has announced that former Black Fern Rebecca Mahoney (Wairarapa Bush) (above right) and Natarsha Ganley (North Harbour) have become the first women selected into their High Performance Referees’ National Squad.  The New Zealand National Squad referees will officiate at the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup, Mitre 10 Heartland Championship and the Farah Palmer Cup.

The other new face in the 2018 National Squad, is Poverty Bay’s Damian McPherson (left). The former Poverty Bay forward took up the whistle in 2015 and last year refereed at the Jock Hobbs National Under 19 Final in Taupo.

Mahoney and Ganley are joined in the new squads by fellow female referees, Lauren Jenner (Counties Manukau), Maggie Cogger–Orr (Auckland), Brittany Andrew (Manawatu) and Louise Moore (Southland) who have been selected in the Wider Training Group. They join eight other match officials that will work towards the Jock Hobbs National Under 19 tournament in Taupo in September 2018 – a traditional rite of passage for aspiring New Zealand referees.

New Zealand Rugby’s High Performance Referee Manager Bryce Lawrence welcomed the inclusion of Mahoney and Ganley as a positive statement about women in refereeing; “This is a fantastic day for referring and for women in refereeing. Rebecca and Natarsha are quality referees and will no doubt continue to improve in the high-performance environment.

“We are determined to have the best match officials in the world who control elite level games. Having Rebecca and Natarsha in the National Squad will see us developing our top men and women officials together to achieve that goal,” said Lawrence.

“The growth of the women’s game around the world has meant that rugby unions around the world are thinking about how we can encourage and support women and girls, into refereeing.

“Bringing the best of our male and female referees into one programme, gives others something to aim for, and it ensures that we stay relevant to our rugby communities and audience,” he said.

“Seeing the talent across our wider training group shows the pathway that is available for young referees in this country and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in 2018 and years to come,” said Lawrence.

The New Zealand 2018 squads are:

Professional Squad

Nick Briant (Bay of Plenty)
Mike Fraser (Wellington)
Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty)
Jamie Nutbrown (Canterbury)
Brendon Pickerill (North Harbour)
Ben O’Keeffe (Wellington)
Paul Williams (Taranaki)

National Squad

Tipene Cottrell (Hawke’s Bay)
James Doleman (Otago)
Natarsha Ganley (North Harbour)*
Tim Griffiths (Manawatu)
Nick Hogan (Wellington)
Richard Kelly (Taranaki)
Mike Lash (Tasman)
Damian McPherson (Poverty Bay)*
Rebecca Mahoney (Wairarapa Bush)*
Angus Mabey (Auckland)
James Munro (Canterbury)
Hugh Reed (Hawke’s Bay)
Cam Stone (Taranaki)
Michael Winter (Waikato)
Nick Webster (North Otago)

*new appointments

Wider Training Group

Brittany Andrew (Manawatu)
Jamie Bell (Bay of Plenty)
Jono Bredin (Otago)
Maggie Cogger–Orr (Auckland)
Stuart Curran (Otago)
Sam Fellows (Bay of Plenty)
Karl Hancox (Canterbury)
Lauren Jenner (Counties Manukau)
William Johnston (Taranaki)
Louise Moore (Southland)
Chris Paul (South Canterbury)
Marcus Playle (Auckland)