Groundbreaking umpire Amy Perrett has announced that she is hanging up the whistle and retiring from the professional game after a career spanning more than 10 years.
Perrett, the first ever female Super Rugby match official, has led the way for female umpires in Australia and is finishing her career on a high by winning the Sports NSW 2021 Official of the Year award in Sydney on Monday.
Perrett will not be stepping out of the game entirely, however, she will continue to work with Rugby Australia in a game development role, focusing on community rugby and the growth and development of female match officials across the country.
“My years as a professional referee were some of the best in my life, every game was an opportunity and I’m just grateful that so many were offered to me,” said Perrett.
“My tenure has taken me to so many amazing places around the world and I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing people and have some life-changing experiences, all the while doing something I love.
“It will be difficult to walk away from the center of the professional game, but I am delighted to continue helping young aspiring referees achieve their dreams of one day leading Test rugby.
“I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career, spending time with my family as I continue to help young match officials.”
Perrett became the first woman to lead a Super Rugby match in 2020. Perrett’s other achievements include taking her 100th World Series cap in the final of the 2020 Sydney 7s competition, while also centering for the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup final in Paris.
Perrett was also named as match official for the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, but has opted to relinquish her duties due to the rolled back schedule. Perrett made her Super Rugby debut at the Round 9 Brumbies-Force match in 2020 and told World Rugby after the match that she wanted to prove her place in the professional men’s game and inspire others to whistle.
“Sure, now that I’ve tasted it, you’ll want to do it again,” Perrett said after her landmark performance.
“And you don’t want to be such a one-hit wonder, so I want to come back and show that I still belong in that arena and work hard to just do my best and hopefully inspire other people or other women to want to step up umpires.” peck as a result of seeing me on the field.”
RA boss Andy Marinos was quick to congratulate the referee on all her achievements and was delighted to see her continue to build the refereeing ranks in Australia.
“I would like to congratulate Amy on both her recognition at the 2021 NSW Sports Awards and on a remarkable career in professional rugby,” said Marinos. “Amy is a world-class match official who has had a celebrated career in both formats of our game.
“Her calm disposition yet rock-solid determination are qualities that set her apart in the game. We have been fortunate to have Amy at the highest level within our game, both at home and abroad, and this has paved the way for any ambitious female official , and this is a contribution to our game that we cannot celebrate enough.
“While it is a shame to have one less Australian official on the world stage, we are delighted to keep her in rugby as she continues her role within Rugby AU to help grow and nurture the talent base of match officials across the country.”