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Referee Belinda Sleeman.

Belinda Sleeman will move one step closer to becoming the first female to referee an NRL fixture after being named to officiate in Saturday night's trial between Brisbane and Wynnum at Kougari Oval.

Sleeman, who was the first female match official in a Rugby League World Cup in 2017, made her touch judge debut at Leichhardt Oval in 2014 and has gone on to sideline officiate in more than 60 NRL clashes.

The Queensland resident is also a weekly referee for the state's Intrust Super Cup competition while working in the NRL on a part-time basis.

"It's an opportunity to test myself at the next level and I'm really looking forward to it," Sleeman told on Tuesday.

"This is a step in the right direction for me and the goal of one day taking control of an NRL game. That's always the goal for everyone at this level. It's a nice way to start the season off."

Sleeman was told of her appointment via a normal weekly announcement.

Referee Belinda Sleeman.
Referee Belinda Sleeman. ©NRL Photos

Match officials are not notified of their fixtures for the upcoming weekend until the Tuesday leading into the next round, leaving them in no position to make plans outside of rugby league commitments throughout the season.

Sleeman has spent the past five months maintaining her fitness levels, while taking control of club's opposed sessions in Queensland.

"We have a long pre-season, it's no different to players," Sleeman said. 

"I've been on the same pathway as all the other officials. We've got to continue to work hard and prepare well.

"I don't think I'm on a different path or timeline to anyone else as it is for a player. Over the pre-season I've been refereeing a lot of opposed sessions with the Broncos and Titans. That's good for my development as well."

The Broncos have named a strong squad for the encounter with Jack Bird, Tevita Pangai jnr and Payne Haas all set for stints on the paddock.

Fellow female match official Kasey Badger remains on the sidelines after undergoing rib surgery in the off-season.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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