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ARL match official promoted to NRL

ARL match official promoted to NRL

Auckland Rugby League referee Anthony Eliott has been promoted into the NRL match official ranks, and will make his debut as a first-grade touch judge this weekend.

After strong performances in the Holden Cup and NSW Cup competitions over the past three years, 34-year-old Eliott has been appointed as a match official for this Sunday’s NRL clash between the Newcastle Knights and Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle.

“I got a phone call on Tuesday evening from NRL referee boss Tony Archer to congratulate me and let me know that I had been appointed to my first first-grade line,” Eliott said.

“I am obviously very excited about it, it has been a long-term goal and I have got there now, so I just have to make sure I perform.”

Eliott is a product of the ARL Match Official Development Squad who meet in Auckland every Thursday to train towards refereeing at international standards, and praised the ARL for their role in his development over the years.

“The ARL referee system has been very important to me. There is a lot of support and drive to get match officials up to this level,” he said.

“The amount of work that goes into local match officials at the Auckland level is huge.”

Auckland Rugby League referees development officer John McKeown said Eliott’s promotion showed there were genuine opportunities for New Zealand officials to get to the NRL.

“A pathway to the top is there for all of our referees, just as it is for the players and coaches,” McKeown said.

“Anthony has been a level two qualified Premier referee here in Auckland for the past five years and is a guiding light for others to now follow.”


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