NRL award two female referees with full-time deals

The NRL have promoted female referees Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman to their full-time ranks.

The emerging referees and Todd Smith are now on full-time wages, which was announced at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.

The trio, who were originally on part-time contracts ahead of 2019, received upgrades from referees’ boss Bernard Sutton as Badger and Sleeman look to become the first women to referee in the NRL.

Badger said: “I was a bit shocked when I was told but I am over the moon.

“Now it’s a great way to still get those training sessions in but not have to get up at five in the morning or avoiding getting home at nine at night.

“It allows to you to recover better, refuel and manage injury concerns with more access to our strength and conditioning staff and physiotherapists.

“It means you can be more professional and that’s the benefits of being at the elite level.”

Sleeman commented: “I have a good understanding of the level of the game but to be in this environment moving forward training full-time is certainly going to help us refereeing both on and off the field.

“This is what we’re aiming for, I certainly didn’t hesitate to accept the role.”

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