By Fraser Smith

It is not just Western Australian players making a splash at the moment with WA’s officials also excelling on a national and international scale.

Western Australian rugby’s top whistle-blower Graham Cooper will add to his already outstanding resume when he departs on Friday for the Women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in Ireland from August 9-29.

The opportunity comes after Cooper’s impressive showing already in 2017, Assistant Refereeing in the 2017 Super Rugby season, and out in the middle for the Women’s Six Nations as well the Sydney’s Shute Shield and the local Pindan Premier Grade.

“I guess this Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland is another opportunity for me to go away and experience rugby outside of Australia,” he said. “More importantly to be able to referee on an international scale in front of World Rugby selectors is always a great opportunity.”

“My Six Nations match between England and Italy was a close one and I was able to see what the women’s game was all about after not having much experience in the women’s games before then.

“Moving from that to a Test match between England and Canada, which was a rematch of the last Women’s Rugby World Cup final, showed me what the next month holds for me and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it.”

The World Cup presents a huge opportunity for Cooper who is determined to use the tournament as launching pad towards a Super Rugby appointment.

“Assistant refereeing Super Rugby is always fun but I guess the dream is to be out in the middle. Being able to go over to Ireland this month and perform well in front of those Super Rugby selectors and push my case to be an on field Super Rugby referee in the near future.”

Following the World Cup, the Western Australian referee will move directly into the National Rugby Championship (NRC) season, just another chance for the talented official to show his wares.

“Straight after Ireland, I’ll be back in Australia and get ready to dive straight into the NRC.”

“The addition of an extra team with Fiji coming in and a reduction of referees gives me a lot more opportunities in the middle and a chance to impress those who are making the decisions at Super Rugby level.”

Continuing the exciting opportunities coming up for Western Australian officials, established referee Tyler Miller and former Wallaroo winger and World Cup representative turned referee, Maddie Putz-Skiba have been selected to officiate the inaugural Aon Uni 7s.

The five-week national women’s sevens university competition kicks off on Friday, August 25 and will be the first big step in the emergence of domestic elite level Women’s Sevens providing an opportunity for players and referees alike to perform at a high level.