11 June 1943
Junee, New South Wales
|Residence||Castle Hill, New South Wales|
|Children||Chris Warren (son)
Holly Warren (daughter)
Mark Warren (son)
Ray "Rabbits" Warren OAM (born 11 June 1943) in Junee, New South Wales is an Australian sports commentator, most famous for his coverage of televised professional rugby league matches and swimming on the Nine Network. On occasions he is referred to as "The Voice of Rugby League". Ray also used to call Australian swimming team events and the FINA World Championships until Nine lost the rights to these events in 2008 and has recently participated in Nine's coverage of the London Olympics. On Saturday mornings, he is a member of the panel on Triple M Sydney's radio Saturday morning sports program Dead Set Legends. Warren also writes columns for sports website The Serve. Ray's nickname is "Rabbits", as in a rabbit's warren.
As a youngster Ray Warren was amazed by the ability of race-caller Ken Howard to paint the perfect picture of the race track. As a child, Ray used to roll marbles down a wooden slope and call them as horses. He initially followed in the footsteps of his brother by joining the police force. It was during his brief stint in uniform he got a phone call as a result of all the door-knocking he had done at various radio stations as a teenager. Ray took the job offered to him at 2LF Young, New South Wales as a sales representative, trotting commentator and rugby league commentator - a move which started his career in broadcasting.
He began commentating on television through the Amco Cup on Channel Ten with Keith Barnes in 1974. In 1980, Ten approached Warren to call the Melbourne Cup, the first of three Cups he would call for the network. He also became Network Ten's chief Rugby League caller from 1983 - 1986. In 1984 he was to head up Ten's commentary for the Los Angeles Olympics but refused to take the mission. As a nervous flyer, Warren had grave reservations about the trans-Pacific haul and suddenly realised he could not get onto the plane. In 1986, Warren was fired by the network, primarily because it wanted to replace him as its chief rugby league commentator with former international player Rex Mossop. (Subsequently Warren spent a couple of years as Mossop's Co-commentator, however as was his style, Mossop allowed Warren little input).
Over the next six years, Warren would also travel many miles to call horse races. In 1989 he was recruited by the Nine Network to commentate on the state of origin series alongside Darrell Eastlake and Balmain Tigers coach Warren Ryan, and to be part of its team to broadcast swimming at the 1990 Commonwealth Games with Norman May. The television rights for rugby league were bought by Nine for the 1992 season and onwards and he has been calling the game for them ever since. Warren has gradually overcome his fear of flying, though he does still have some fear as evidenced by a well publicised helicopter flight to a game on the Gold Coast in 2012 made necessary due to a delayed flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast. Overcoming his fear has seen him travel to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada for the network's swimming or rugby league coverage.
Ray Warren is known for his passionate commentary (often getting into good-natured arguments with fellow commentator Phil Gould about a player or the rules of rugby league during games), and has often been parodied by The Twelfth Man. His voice has become synonymous with important rugby league matches in Australia, and he is renowned for his proficient ability to take over from fellow-commentators when anything interesting happens on the field.
Currently, Warren also works on Sydney radio station 2MMM on the Saturday morning sports show Dead Set Legends with Richard Freedman and Dan Ginnane, as well being a semi-regular host of 'The Rush Hour' with Dan Ginnane.
Warren is also a contributor on Melbourne's Sport 927.
On 6 August 2011, a bronze of Warren statue was erected in his hometown of Junee.
Ray Warren lives in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill with his wife, Cher, and daughter, Holly. Ray's first son, Chris Warren, was a rugby league presenter for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and was a producer for the now defunct Setanta Sports NRL coverage in Europe. Ray is also the brother of lesser known commentator Reg Warren, who commentated for district NRL games in the late '90's. Ray was once the chief commentator in a match that Chris participated in while he was a player for the Western Suburbs Magpies in the early 1990s.
During an appearance on Triple M's "Dead Set Legends" in June 2011, Warren revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Derriman, Philip (2005-09-24). "Warren still going full scream ahead". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
- Webster, Andrew "A few drinks with Ray Warren ", Inside Sport magazine, April 2004
- "NXFM Says goodbye to Steve And Kim".
- NXFM Official Statement (Steve & Kim Breakfast Show) http://radiotoday.com.au/media/files/nx.pdf
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- Riccio, David (6 August 2011). "Legendary commentator Ray Warren honoured with bronze statue in Junee". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Sygall, David (2010-05-02). "Rabs admits: gambling cost me a better life". The Age (Australia: Fairfax Digital). Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- Warren, Ray (2011-05-25). The Kyle & Jackie O Show. Interview with Kyle & Jackie O. Today Network. 2DayFM. Sydney, Australia.