Luke Phillips

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Luke Phillips
Personal information
Born (1975-08-04) 4 August 1975 (age 42)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Playing information
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 90 kg (14 st 2 lb; 200 lb)
Position Fullback, Wing
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1996 Canberra Raiders 1 0 2 0 4
1997 North Qld Cowboys 17 8 45 0 122
1998 Manly-Warringah 22 6 50 1 125
1999–02 Sydney Roosters 65 19 34 3 147
Total 105 33 131 4 398

Luke Phillips (born 4 August 1975) is an Australian professional rugby league football match official and former player. He started refereeing National Rugby League Premiership matches having played seven seasons as a goal-kicking fullback for NRL clubs the Sydney Roosters (with whom he won the 2002 NRL Premiership), Canberra Raiders, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys.[1]

Playing career[edit]

After playing for West Belconnen Warriors as a junior,[2] Phillips made his first-grade debut for the Canberra Raiders in the 1996 ARL season against the Western Reds at the WACA Ground.[3]

He played for the North Queensland Cowboys during the 1997 Super League season. He spent his third year in the top grade at a third club after moving to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles for in 1998.

The following year he moved to the Sydney Roosters where he would remain for the rest of his career. His performance for the club at fullback in their 2000 NRL Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Broncos drew glowing praise.[4] The Roosters made the 2002 NRL Grand Final and Phillips played at fullback in the winning side with a shoulder injury that was later operated on in the off-season. Phillips' form at the back saw Roosters coach Ricky Stuart keep Brett Mullins on the wing (Mullins was a former team mate of both Stuart and Phillips at the Raiders in 1996 and was also the first choice fullback for the Australian test team (alongside Stuart who was the test Halfback) on the 1994 Kangaroo tour).[5] However he retired during the first half of the 2003 NRL season after failing to recover.[6]

Refereeing career[edit]

At a Sydney Roosters function sometime after his retirement, Luke Phillips was still trying to decide what to in life after football. It was there that former Grand Final and State of Origin winning coach Phil Gould said to him "Why don't you have a go at refereeing? The NRL is looking for players who want to pick up a whistle". Phillips, looking for a way to stay involved in the game, decided to give it a go, though he initially believed he wouldn't enjoy it.

After starting out in the Central Coast Division in 2007, Phillips was given a cadetship with the NRL in 2008 (alongside other former first grade players Henry Perenara and Paul Mellor). He then started officiating in the Under-20s National Youth Competition (NYC) in 2009. His first appearance in the NRL was as a touch judge in Round 26 of the 2009 NRL season.


After spending most of 2010 refereeing in the NSW Cup (reserve grade), Luke Phillips made his first grade debut as a referee on 21 August for a Round 24 match of the 2010 NRL season at AAMI Park in Melbourne as the Melbourne Storm defeated Cronulla 24-4. He then made a further three appearances in the 2011 NRL season while mostly officiating in the 2011 NSW Cup. He spent all of 2012 refereeing in the NSW Cup, though he has since become a regular first grade referee in the 2013 NRL season.

Although he was yet to make his NRL debut as a referee at the time, Phillips was selected alongside Ashley Klein, Shayne Hayne and Gavin Badger to referee the inaugural NRL All Stars game at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast in 2010.[7]

Phillips juggles his time as a full-time NRL referee with running his own Pinball and Video game supply business.[8]


  1. ^ Luke Phillips at
  2. ^ Luke Phillips at
  3. ^ Steve Mascord (22 April 2003). "With back-up in place, Phillips calls it a day". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Lockyer breaks into elite class". New Zealand Herald. New Zealand: APN Holdings NZ Limited. 28 August 2000. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Stuart lauds Rooster's courage". The Age. Melbourne. 21 April 2003. 
  6. ^ Steve Mascord and Brad Walter (2 August 2003). "Tigers, Broncos locked in battle over Graham". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Anthony Stewart (27 March 2010). "Ex-Cowboy feels heat as whistle-blower". Townsville Bulletin. Australia: The North Queensland Newspaper Company Pty Ltd. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Ex-Grand Final Hero now a Referee