Roger Vanderfield

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Roger Vanderfield
Born Ian Roger Vanderfield
Died 25 September 2008
Sydney, Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Sydney
Occupation Doctor, medical administrator
rugby referee and administrator
Spouse(s) Margaret

Ian Roger Vanderfield AO OBE (1928 – 25 September 2008) was an Australian doctor, and a rugby union referee and administrator. Vanderfield refereed over 1200 games, including 32 test matches and internationals.[1]

Medical career[edit]

A doctor by profession, Vanderfield graduated from the University of Sydney in 1952 and was a member of the Faculty of Medicine from 1973 to 1991.[2] He was the Chief Medical Superintendent of Northern Sydney Area Health Service.[3]

Vanderfield co-wrote the centenary history of Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital.[4] He was also the hospital's Honorary Archivist.[3]

Rugby achievements[edit]

In the 1980s, Vanderfield was President of the New South Wales Rugby Union and the Australian Rugby Union.[5]

As chairman of the International Rugby Board Vanderfield was instrumental in establishing the first Rugby World Cup.[1] The Australia and New Zealand Rugby Unions had launched a joint proposal to introduce a World Cup. There was reluctance from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Vanderfield flew to South Africa at his own expense and convinced SARU not to vote against the proposal. South Africa abstained and other unions came on board. Eventually the proposal was adopted by a vote of eight to six.[6]


Vanderfield Building – Royal North Shore Hospital

Vanderfield was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for service to the community through the delivery of health care services at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and to Rugby Union football.[7]

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1976 New Year Honours, "[f]or services to medicine and sport".[8][9]

Vanderfield was elected a life member of numerous Rugby bodies.[1] On 24 October 2011, he was posthumously inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame for his role in the creation of the Rugby World Cup.[10]

The Vanderfield Building at Royal North Shore Hospital is named after him.[1]

Trophy donor[edit]

The B.A.R Trophy was presented by three leading Sydney rugby union referees, H.B.(Bernie) Freeman, A.T.(Arthur) Tierney and I.R.(Roger) Vanderfield, who travelled to Canberra regularly during the 1950s to conduct examinations for referees. The trophy is an engraved pewter mug presented each year to the most improved referee of the Australian Capital Territory Rugby Referees Association. The award is intended to encourage ACT referees to better themselves and to express the gratitude of the donors for the hospitality and friendship extended to them by the members.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "NSW Rugby mourns the passing of Dr Roger Vanderfield OBE, AO". New South Wales Rugby Union. 28 September 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Roger Vanderfield OBE AO". University of Sydney. 16 December 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Saker, Emily (2 October 2007). "Farewell to "Vindin House" at Royal North Shore Hospital". Northern Sydney Central Coast Health. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  4. ^ Sherington, Geoffrey; Vanderfield, Dr Roger (1988). A Century of Caring – the Royal North Shore Hospital 1888–1988. Sydney: Horwitz Grahame. ISBN 0-7255-2104-X. 
  5. ^ "Rugby Mourns the Passing of Dr Roger Vanderfield". Australian Rugby Union. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  6. ^ Stephens, Tony (2 October 2008). "High achiever on and off the field". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "Ian Roger Vanderfield AO". It's An Honour. Australian Government. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "No. 46777". The London Gazette. 30 December 1975. p. 21. 
  9. ^ "Ian Roger Vanderfield OBE". It's An Honour. Australian Government. 1 January 1976. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "THE B.A.R TROPHY". Retrieved 21 February 2009.