Game on for high-achieving referee

You could say that Maggie Cogger-Orr’s career is a game of two halves.

On week days you can find her at Westlake Girls in her capacity as Onewa House Dean, and in the class taking Business Studies or PE. In the evenings and week ends you’ll find her on the rugby field refereeing premier games. And in case you are wondering – she’s extraordinary in both roles!

Maggie is one of just a handful of rugby referees selected world-wide to officiate at the TikTok Women’s Six Nations competition starting in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of March. She will be joined by just one other New Zealand ref – Lauren Jenner, and a Kiwi TMO – Lee Jeffrey.

Maggie is referee (along with two assistant referees) for:

  • Wales vs France at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff on Friday 22 April
  • Ireland v Scotland at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday 30 April

She’s been reffing rugby since 2017, and played for 12 years from her early days of high school until the end of 2016. “I then decided it was time for a new challenge and switched over to refereeing,” she says. The timing of that move proved advantageous. “I was quite fortunate that there was a big turnover in women’s referees here in New Zealand after Rio 2016. That meant a lot of opportunities and saw me selected into the Women’s National Squad during my first year.”

Since then, Maggie has been a member of the Wider Training Group (2018) and the National High Performance Squad (2019-present). “Locally I referee Premier Men’s rugby in Auckland and have been on the Premier Panel since 2020. In my role I referee for the Farah Palmer Cup (Women’s Provincial Tournament) and this year I’ve been selected to referee Super Rugby Aupiki. I was even able to officiate some development test matches in Fiji at the end of 2019 before Covid really hit.”

Maggie says she is stoked to be part of the Women’s Six Nations. “I’ve worked really hard to get this opportunity and I’m looking forward to representing my union on the international stage,” she says. “There are a few nerves of course, but I’m reminding myself of what a cool opportunity this is and reframing the emotion as excitement!”

The bonus is that Canadian-born Maggie will get to see her parents after two and a half years apart as they will be flying over from Canada to watch her games.

From this tournament, referees will be selected for the Women’s Rugby World Cup which is being played in New Zealand during October and November. Watch this space!

Maggie (in white and green) is pictured top officiating at the inaugural Women’s Super Rugby game in May 2021, and above with other referees from the Premier Men’s Club in Auckland.