Women In Rugby | Tyler Miller

Thu, Aug 10, 2023, 1:55 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

Tyler Miller is a pacesetter.

She has come a long way in the game: from the little girl playing junior rugby for ARKS to one of the most recognised female referees in the international game.

Tyler made RugbyWA history in 2016 as the first female referee to take charge of a Premier Grade match.

Since then she spent four years on the World 7s circuit from 2018-2022, officiated at the Tokyo Olympics, refereed in last year's Women's World Cup in New Zealand and been in charge of Super W matches.

It has been quite a journey with plenty of milestones along the way, but while they are special moments, each one has been just another game for the woman in the middle.

Tyler sees no difference between taking charge of international stars or the recent local Fortescue game between Wanneroo Districts and Southern Lions.

Tyler Miller.

But a lot has changed in the last few months and her priorities changed in February when she joined the WA Police academy.

She has a new outlook on life but is still hoping for more honours - particularly the chance to referee at the revamped Rugby Sevens World Series when it comes to Perth in January.

Tyler had been studying for a psychology degree but "rugby got in the way".

"I made a decision at the back end of last year that I had to get a job," Tyler said.

"I made the decision on where I was and what I had done.

"I was content with what I had achieved. If that was it, that was it.

"But having said that I'd still be more than happy to take as many opportunities as possible that come my way.

"I'll just have to wait and see.

"I had to step away from 7s but I'm going to see if I can go back if that works with work.

"Hopefully I'll still be involved somewhere in the 15-a-side game and I'm not entirely writing off the Olympics.

"Being involved in the Perth 7s next year would be pretty special."

Tyler played junior rugby for ARKS in mixed sides until under she was 12-years-old.

"After that, girls weren't allowed to play any more back then," she said.

"But my dad and brother were playing so I decided to start refereeing."

Her first games with the whistle were juniors at Britannia Oval.

Tyler Miller.

"And I've been reffing ever since," she said.

"When I started there were not many females involved but you look around now and there are so more playing rugby or are involved in it.

"There are females out there doing great things, but it feels like it's taken a lot of effort to get the opportunities.

"Being a female in charge didn't feel any different when I first started, but then you take a step back and think 'wow this is pretty different'.

"I never thought I was being treated differently because I was a girl.

"I've been around long enough now that people don't care.

"In general, I don't think I get treated any different to any of the guys but the expectations are the same.

"I've been really lucky, really fortunate, to achieve what I have.

"I been all over the world, experienced lots of different cultures, travelled with people I really got on with and there was a bit of rugby along the way.

"Anything now will be a bonus but I'm so grateful to the so many people that have been supportive.

"They have made such a difference."