After a successful inaugural year, the Chikarovski Cup will make its return to Sydney this weekend.
New South Wales’ top female talent is ready to take to the field, in what promises to be a great showcase of women in rugby, with an all female match official panel set to take charge.
Referees Kate Thomson (Central Coast), Cerys O’Grady-Cousins (Central Coast), Kitiara Porter (Mid North Coast) and Caitlin Bokor (ACT) will be working together for all four games of the series.
Thomson, who was named NSWRU Match Official of the Year in 2019, said she’s excited to be a part of an all female team.
“When I saw the appointments, I was amazed at the fact that the whole panel was going to be female,” Thomson said.
“We’ve got some top quality female referees here in New South Wales, and to be appointed to referee some of the top female rugby talent in the country is very humbling,” she said.
As the veteran of the group, Thomson will be looking to lead by example come kick off on Saturday.
“This will be the first time in my career that I would have refereed with an all female panel, it’s not something that happens every day,” Thomson said.
“I’ll be sure to remind the girls to enjoy the experience, and learn as much from each other as we can.
“It’s not often that you get to work with referees from different areas of the State, so it will be a good learning experience for all of us,” she said.
An ex-player herself, Thomson said that refereeing is a great way to stay involved in the game.
“I played throughout the 90s, and it didn’t take me long to figure out that I wasn’t going to be able to play forever,” Thomson said.
“And then when I found refereeing, I knew it was the way that I was going to stay involved in the game I love.
“I’d encourage any young female players to pick up the whistle and give it a go, you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do, and the knowledge you of the game through playing.
“It’s not always easy, but just remember, our game can’t be played without referees.”