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Referees to stand out

Referee Alistair Payne, left, Farmlands Greytown business manager Tim Williams, Farmlands Masterton business manager Kelvin O’Reilly, and referee Shay O’Gorman with the new Wairarapa referees’ kit.

By Jake Beleski

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Wairarapa’s rugby referees will be hard to miss for the rest of the 2017 season.

Yesterday they unveiled the new kit the referees will wear when they take to the field, and it’s safe to say they will be easy to spot.

In keeping with the Wairarapa-Bush tradition the new uniforms are green and red, but the light shade of green is much brighter than the usual dark green worn by teams from this region.

Referees Alistair Payne and Shay O’Gorman were equally happy with how the uniforms had turned out.

“They definitely stand out a lot more, which tends to be the way referees’ uniforms are going,” O’Gorman said.

“It’s important we don’t clash with any teams we are refereeing as well.”

A grant from the New Zealand Racing Board was the catalyst that got the ball rolling, and the referees themselves were responsible for choosing the colours for the new strip.

The change would also heighten the relationship between the referees’ association and their major sponsor, Farmlands, O’Gorman said.

It is the company’s fourth year sponsoring the local referees, and Farmlands Greytown business manager Tim Williams said it was a great chance to support the community.

Farmlands Masterton business manager Kelvin O’Reilly said the size of the region meant it was great for their business.

“It’s fantastic what the referees do.

“The area covers Puketoi to Pirinoa so there’s plenty of coverage.”

Wairarapa-Bush Referees Association chairman, Graeme Reisima, said they were privileged to have Farmlands as their major sponsor.

“We have had a great relationship with them for the past four years and look forward to representing their brand proudly around Wairarapa and beyond.

“Farmlands is an iconic brand in the rural scene and with our widespread rural clubs we believe they get a great exposure, but it is incumbent on us to get the decisions right so the exposure is a positive one!”

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