Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced

LAFAYETTE, CO. - USA Rugby announced Friday the two recipients of the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund scholarship, named after two of USA Rugby's most accomplished referees - Denis Shanagher and Don Morrison.

Alex Cattermole and Joya Clark will attend the South African Referee Rugby Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa, for two months, honing their officiating skills in an immersive rugby environment. This experience is fully funded by USA Rugby Trust donors.

Alex Cattermole is a member of Mid-Atlantic Rugby Referee Society and Potomac Society of Rugby Football Referees, and was previously a member of Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Referee Society.

"I'm really excited to study rugby officiating in a professional environment. Not only do I hope to exponentially increase my skills while I'm there, but I hope to acquire the tools to keep improving once I return stateside," says Cattermole. "Additionally, immersing myself in another culture will provide benefits beyond the rugby pitch."

Joya Clark is a member of Pacific Northwest Rugby Referees Society and spent the last summer as a referee intern with the Alaskan Rugby Union. She also enjoys refereeing flag football for Underdog Sports Leagues and coaching both Men's and Women's rugby.

"Joya's passion and determination for rugby is inspiring and infectious," explains Rich Piraino, President of Alaska Rugby Referees Society. "She made a massive impact on Alaska rugby while here, and refereed our most difficult matches. We look forward to seeing her progress and seeing how far she takes her rugby experience. She will always be part of the Alaska rugby family."

Clark shares, "I'm honored, grateful and excited to have received the opportunity to train full-time at the prestigious South African Referee Rugby Academy. I look forward to traveling 10,000+ miles deep into the Southern Hemisphere to the great tier-one rugby nation of South Africa. Thank you to both the Shanagher and Morrison families along with all those who donate to USA Rugby Trust."

"We are very appreciative of the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund for providing a fantastic opportunity to future referees that will shape rugby in the USA," says USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Richard Every. "The South African Referee Rugby Academy, run by Director Hendrik Greyvenstein, provides a solid foundation of continuous learning and opportunities that condense almost three refereeing seasons into two months. We are excited to follow the progress of the two selected candidates and wish them all the best."

The Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund is made possible by individuals from the community. You can support this opportunity for future scholarship recipients by contributing to the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund through USA Rugby Trust.

Donate to the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund 

Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund Review Committee

Richard Every, USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager
Riaan Van Greuning, USA Rugby Referee Appointments Officer
Nick Ricono, USA Rugby Sevens Referee Pathway Manager
Ed Todd, USA Rugby Disciplinary Contact
Chris Reed, USA Rugby Chief Development Officer

About USA Rugby Trust

USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. We believe rugby is a sport for everyone. Whether you are a player or a fan, rugby is a game that is enjoyed by all. USA Rugby Trust is committed to making rugby fun and accessible at all levels of play across the country.

Our fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our USA National Teams.

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