Rachel Horton

Rachel Horton

State: QLD
Date Of Birth: -
Place of Birth: -
Panel: Women's National Panel
Association: QRRA

Reason you started refereeing?

After playing for nearly 10 years I started thinking of retiring but wanted to stay involved with rugby. I found coaching really frustrating so I decided to give refereeing a go although at the time I really wasn’t convinced I would enjoy it and expected to quit after giving it a token effort. I’m now starting my 6th season and loving it.

Best on-field rugby highlights?

The biggest crowd I have refereed in front of and the most amazing atmosphere was the National School Girls 7s final 2012 at Skilled Park in front of the IRB Gold Coast 7s crowd. The 2 teams were QLD and NSW, it was a close game and the crowd got really into it. I’d never experienced noise like that and it was fantastic.

Refereeing NZ v Samoa in the 3 v 4 playoff during the 2013 Oceania Women’s Sevens. It was a fairly one-sided game as NZ are a great team and were coming off a shock semi-final loss to Fiji but Samoa didn’t give up and refused to be shut out. Women’s rugby, particularly sevens, has come a really long way over the past few years and it is always fantastic to referee high quality games.

Best off-field rugby highlights?

As a player it never occurred to me that our referees even knew each other, let alone met regularly and trained together. One of my highlights has definitely been the support and encouragement of fellow referees and making some great friends.

Occupation and interests outside of rugby?

I have a PhD in microbiology and spent many years in infectious disease research but made a career change to teaching and am just starting my second year as a Senior Physics and Chemistry teacher at Churchie in Brisbane. I also coordinate their referees and am slowly starting to develop a student referee programme.

My main passion outside of rugby is muay thai. I have a 7-1-1 fight record. I also dabble in triathlon and completed Ironman Melbourne last year although I’m a terrible swimmer and really not a big fan of open water swimming.

I also really enjoy cooking, baking in particular. I love cake!

Best refereeing advice you’ve been given?

Get a good relationship with the captains and work with them to achieve the best game possible.


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