BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby announced Thursday the two recipients of the Shanagher Morrison Scholarship for 2015. The scholarship, named after two of USA Rugby’s most storied referees, will send Nick Cutrell and Cody Kuxmann to the Maties Rugby Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
It is the belief of Maties Academy that “the development of a good referee can only be achieved through a holistic approach – having enough practical experience as well as access to high performance training facilities.” Maties Academy offers access to “26 hostel games per week, WP League and school games on weekends, as well as to the University’s Gymnasium, Vision lab, and a curriculum developed specifically for referees.”
“Having had multiple referees train at Maties, we believe that this is a great opportunity for Cutrell and Kuxmann to hone their skills among the world’s best,” said USA Rugby Referee Manager Brittany Jacobs. “We look forward to supporting their referee development abroad and anticipate great things for each of the scholarship recipients upon their return to the States.”
Cutrell, 22, began refereeing during his college’s off-season as a way to better understand the intricacies of rugby law. For his first two years as a referee, he specifically refereed high school matches.
“Refereeing was a way of giving back to the rugby community as well as aid my progression as a player,” says Cutrell. “This past year I have refereed one high school state championship, one high school all-star tournament final, and a handfull of collegiate and Division II men’s rugby games.”
Kuxmann, 23, began officiating in 2008 at the young age of 16. His abilities were noticed quickly and he moved from officiating high school matches to officiating men’s college and club matches within his first year. Kuxmann continued his officiating career during his time at university in England, where he had the opportunity to work with the London Referee Society. Now back in the U.S., Kuxmann is an incredibly active referee in Wisconsin.
“This experience will allow me to further my understanding and experience of the game,” Kuxmann said. “I intend to bring back this knowledge and use it to the best of my ability.”
The Shanagher Morrison Scholarship is made possible by the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund, which raises the bar and creates international learning opportunities for up-and-coming referees through generous contributions to USA Rugby Trust. If you would like to support this worthwhile program, please visit the USA Rugby Trust page.