New Zealand Test referee Maggie Cogger-Orr has been appointed to a newly created role as Women’s Referee Development Manager at New Zealand Rugby (NZR).
Cogger-Orr had spent the last four years working as an accounting and economics teacher at Westlake Girls’ High School on Auckland’s North Shore.
The new role is supported by Sport New Zealand funding and will see Cogger-Orr focus on increasing women’s referee opportunities across the country.
Considered to be one of New Zealand’s top referees, Cogger-Orr is heavily involved at all levels of the game, including refereeing locally in Auckland. In 2022 she enjoyed a year of firsts which saw her referee the historic opening game of Super Rugby Aupiki in March and make her international debut at the Women’s Six Nations in April.
Alongside fellow New Zealand Referee Lauren Jenner, Cogger-Orr also refereed at last year’s Rugby World Cup 2021, including the opening match of the tournament and the quarter final clash between England and Australia.
Cogger-Orr, who will also referee two Test matches at next month’s Women’s Six Nations, said she is looking forward to growing interest and awareness of women’s refereeing.
“I’m incredibly excited. There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in women’s rugby. I’ve already hit the ground running so we can make sure our wāhine are aware of the positives refereeing can offer them, on and off the field.
“It’s really important that we make refereeing visible to women and girls and for them to see how much fun refereeing can be as a way to be involved in rugby. A key part of my role will be to ensure women, whether they’re involved in the game or not, see refereeing as an option to them.
NZR Head of Training and Education Bryce Lawrence said the appointment was positive news for the game.
“This is a crucial time for women and girls’ rugby after an amazing Rugby World Cup last year and we want to make the most of that by creating more refereeing opportunities in our game.
“Maggie has a background in teaching and is a top international referee so she brings fantastic skills, energy and experience to the role. We’re delighted to have her onboard.”
Cogger-Orr will be based in NZR’s Community Rugby team and will work closely with Provincial Unions, referee clubs and secondary schools.
Women’s refereeing courses will be held throughout the country from 8 April to 12 and May and more information be shared in the coming weeks. For more information please contact email@example.com
You can also find out more about getting involved in refereeing here: www.nzrugby.co.nz/get-involved/referee