By Elliot Raiter

Graham Cooper and Tyler Miller are making a statement in the Western Australian Rugby Community after standout starts to their refereeing careers, with both lapping up their opportunities early in 2017.

Cooper is fast becoming a nationally recognised officiator, with overseas travel and world competitions now a constant on his calendar.

“It has been really good,” Cooper said.

“I headed up to the UK to referee and officiate the Women’s Six Nations, which included a game in the middle for England against Italy.

“I then ran the line for England versus Wales and Scotland versus Ireland, it was a great experience and awesome way to meet new people.”

Whilst the Six Nations was a move forward for Cooper, he has bigger goals in mind this season, with Vodafone Super Rugby and the Women’s World Cup on the top of the list.

“It would be awesome to experience any kind of World Cup, particularly with the women’s game getting bigger and better. It is a great way to show what I can do.”

“On top of that, I’ll continue to assistant referee at Super Rugby as well as in the domestic club level and NRC. Hopefully that can move me into the Super Rugby panel.”

Miller continues to have an impact on the female game after becoming the first Western Australian woman to referee a Pindan Premier Grade match last season.

Miller’s year started in exciting fashion by travelling to Rotorua for the New Zealand National Sevens.

“It’s been pretty exciting given it is the first year I have really travelled a lot,” Miller said.

“My focus is on the 15s now and trying to get out of the sevens kind of game.

“Hopefully at the back end of this year and early next year I can do the same.”

Miller believes there is plenty of opportunity for referees in Western Australia, detailing hard work and talent as key area to succeeding in the career.

“If you want it and work hard for it there are plenty of opportunities to take your refereeing a long way,” she explained.

“I guess it is the same as playing, if you’ve got enough talent and willing to work for it, you will be rewarded.”

Cooper echoed Miller’s sentiments with the development of rugby in WA not only benefitting the players, but also the officials.

“I think where the game has gone in WA and where the referee association is taking it is exciting,” he detailed.

“The development of referees just shows it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, like our players, the referees can make it to the top as well.”

Begin your refereeing journey today and sign up for one of RugbyWA’s refereeing courses HERE.