Nic Berry has today been confirmed as the 2021 recipient of the Roger Vanderfield FedEx Referee of the Year award.
Named in honour of Roger Vanderfield AO OBE, the Referee of the Year is selected from Australian Rugby’s national referees as the person who demonstrates the highest standard of officiating throughout the year and is considered to be a role model to the game.
Berry, who had previously won the award in 2019, claimed the prize following a highly regarded 2021 season officiating in the both the Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season. After this, the former player took charge in the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa before officiating in both the July and October Test windows.
Australian officials made up close to a quarter of the appointed officials during the July Test window. Damon Murphy, Nic Berry and Angus Gardner took charge of five matches, while Graham Cooper, Jordan Way and Amy Perrett also acted as assistant referees.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “I’d like to start by congratulating Nic for this wonderful achievement during what at times was a challenging year. I am delighted our game has recognised Nic, his high standards and professional contribution to our game.
“To be considered for this award, you must demonstrate the highest standard of officiating as well as be a role model within our game and this description exemplifies Nic in every aspect of his career.
“From the Harvey Norman Super Rugby season, right through to tier one international matches, Nic, alongside all of our match officials, have carried themselves to the highest professional standards, and I would like to congratulate him and the entire match official team for doing that last season.”
2021 Roger Vanderfield FedEx Referee of the Year recipient Nic Berry said: “I’m grateful to receive this award and would like to thank Andy for his kind words.
“2021 was a difficult year for me personally and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and those in the wider Rugby community for all their support.
“Officiating at any level of the game has its challenges and I have the highest respect for anyone who is willing to face those challenges and do their best to contribute to our wonderful game.
“So I am very humbled to receive this award and accept it on behalf of the entire match official team, who do a wonderful job of upholding the values of Rugby at all levels of the game.”
Berry’s recognition is part of a week-long celebration of the Rugby Australia Awards which will culminate in the 2021 John Eales Medal being announce on Sunday morning (AEDT).