Belinda Sharpe becomes first ever female NRL referee

Drew Darbyshire

Belinda Sharpe will become the first ever female referee in the NRL when Brisbane take on Canterbury at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.

Queenslander Sharpe has been a regular touch judge in the NRL and has refereed Intrust Super Cup matches since 2015 but on Thursday, she will be in the middle alongside senior referee Ben Cummins.

She and Kasey Badger were promoted to full-time NRL refereeing contracts ahead of the 2019 campaign.

Sharpe told “At that stage I was just focused on coming down to Sydney and joining the full-time squad and getting my feet into that environment.

“That was the first and foremost thing for me. Certainly it’s been a whirlwind couple of months for me, and that appointment was a stepping stone to this Thursday for sure.

“I just loved rugby league growing up and I played touch football, ended up refereeing touch footy and made the transition from there.

“The game has been my passion and now I’ve turned that into a full-time career.”

Watch NRL and live stream every NRL game to keep up with how the Burgess boys, John Bateman, Ryan Sutton, Elliott Whitehead, James Graham and all the others are getting on Down Under.

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