NRL referee Gavin Badger has this week joined the New South Wales Rugby League ranks as a Community Football Referees Development Officer, working with the District Referees Association in a part-time role.
Badger, 44, who has officiated almost 300 NRL games in the past 12 years, has been employed to identify talented referees who can join the junior representative and grade programs, as well as deliver coach education for NSWRL for each of the referees district associations.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to put something back in to the younger referees coming through and help them to be the best they can be and ultimately reach NRL level," Badger said.
"This also provides a great transition for when I decide to retire from refereeing. It's awesome to be able to work in the game that I have been a fan of since the age of three."
Chairman of NSWRL Referees Association Paul Simpkins said he was pleased to have someone of Badger's experience join NSWRL.
“Gavin brings a lot of contemporary experience to the role that both the NSWRL squads and our district affiliates will benefit from,” Simpkins said.
“He’s had a great deal of experience as a first grade referee and also as a junior referees coach and we are delighted to have him on board."
The experienced NRL referee will work closely with the NSWRL Referees Association to assist in delivering consistent coaching into the districts next year.
NSWRL General Manager - Football Barrie-Jon Mather said: “It’s great to have such an experienced referee on board because he’ll be making decisions in the most important stage of the development pathways of our referees."