You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Badger shares in historic NRL moment

NSWRL referee and coach Kasey Badger adds another milestone to her career this weekend when she handles the NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday (3 September).

Badger and her colleague Belinda Sharpe, who will handle the NRL game between Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers on Friday (1 September), will create history in Round 27 as the first females to referee in the NRL under the single-referee system.

Sharpe has already made her NRL refereeing debut as part of the two-referee system, when she joined Ben Cummins in the Bulldogs-Brisbane Broncos match in July 2019.

For Badger, who came through the Parramatta District Referees Association before joining the NSWRL High Performance group and then the NRL squad (in 2013), she has already handled elite competition.

She became the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup game, when she was in the centre for the Tonga-Wales match on 25 October last year. Sharpe followed five days later for the England-Greece pool game.

Badger has refereed at all levels of the NSWRL Junior Representatives including SG Ball Cup and Harold Matthews Cup, and Major Competitions including the Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup and The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, which make up the NSWRL men’s pathways.

Kasey Badger controls  the Knights-Sharks pre-season NRL trial in 2023
Kasey Badger controls the Knights-Sharks pre-season NRL trial in 2023

“She’s our first female referees coach in our development squad at present and that’s so important to us here at NSW Rugby League,” NSWRL Referees High Performance Manager Stuart Raper said.

“She’s not only giving back, she’s a great role model for the girls out there aspiring to be an official.”

Badger has combined her NRL duties as a touch judge and video referee, with weekend refereeing stints at NSW Cup games.

“Kasey has had to overcome a lot of injuries and adversity to get to the highest level,” Raper said.

“And being the only woman in a male squad of officials wasn’t always easy.

“But to her credit she’s worked so hard and been very thorough in her preparation and her review process.

“She’s such a professional and everyone at NSWRL congratulates her.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners