New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has today announced the New Zealand Referees high performance squad for the 2022 Bunnings Warehouse provincial rugby season.
The 2022 New Zealand referee high performance squad is:
Jono Bredin (Hawke’s Bay)
Nick Briant (Bay of Plenty)
Stu Catley (Hawke’s Bay)
Maggie Cogger-Orr (Auckland)
Stu Curran (Manawatu)
Erin Doherty* (Otago)
James Doleman (Otago)
Mike Fraser (Wellington)
Natarsha Ganley (North Harbour)
Fraser Hannon (Otago)
George Haswell (Canterbury)
Jackson Henshaw (South Canterbury)
Nick Hogan (Hawke’s Bay)
Lauren Jenner (Counties Manukau)
Will Johnston* (Taranaki)
Angus Mabey (Auckland)
Georgia Mason* (Southland)
Daniel Moore (Canterbury)
Andrew Morton* (Bay of Plenty)
Tiana Ngawati (Bay of Plenty)
Ben O'Keeffe (Horowhenua Kapiti)
Brendon Pickerill (North Harbour)
Marcus Playle (Auckland)
Cam Stone (Taranaki)
Taneika Uerata (Canterbury)
Dan Waenga (Hawke’s Bay)
Cassie Watt (Southland)
Paul Williams (Taranaki)
Michael Winter (Waikato)
Larissa Woolerton (Waikato)
Ben Woolerton (Waikato)
*Denotes selection to the squad for the first time.
The squad boasts a wealth of experience, with Nick Briant, Mike Fraser, Ben O’Keeffe, Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill and James Doleman all refereeing over 100 First Class matches.
Veteran referees Mike Fraser and Nick Briant return for their 16th and 14th seasons respectively, with Briant six appointments away from bringing up 200 First Class matches.
The squad also features four new referees, Will Johnston, Andrew Morton, Georgia Mason and Erin Doherty.
NZR National Referee Manager Bryce Lawrence said the selectors had been impressed with referee performances so far this season, including overseas competitions.
“We are constantly looking for new talent and it’s great to see people like Marcus Playle featuring in Major League Rugby in the States. Will is a proven premier club referee who took his one opportunity last season and performed superbly in Thames Valley. Andrew has moved to New Zealand from England and impressed us so far this season. He’s showing many of the high performance attributes we are after.”
With experienced referees Lauren Jenner and Maggie Cogger-Orr set to focus on Rugby World Cup 2021 preparations, Lawrence said the door had been opened for others to step up.
“It’s fantastic that Lauren and Maggie are building to the Rugby World Cup here in New Zealand and we’ve been really impressed with the way they’ve handled Test match rugby. Their success now means that there are chances for other women referees, said Lawrence
“This season we welcome back Natarsha who has been in the national squad before. We've also selected Georgia and Erin as we look to build depth in women’s refereeing. They’re both promising referees and they’ll benefit from learning about the technical, tactical and game knowledge required at this level.”
After five years as National Referee Manager, Bryce Lawrence is set to leave his role in July to take up a new opportunity with NZR as Head of Training and Education.
Domestic rugby season preparations are in full swing across the country and the 2022 season draws have been announced for the Bunnings Warehouse NPC, Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) presented by Bunnings Warehouse and the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship.