Ray Warren

Raymond Warren OAM (born 11 June 1943) is an Australian sports commentator, known for his coverage of televised professional rugby league matches on the Nine Network. He is often called "The Voice of Rugby League". Warren also used to call Australian swimming team events and the FINA World Championships until Nine lost the rights to these events in 2008 and in 2012 participated in Nine's coverage of the London Olympics.

Ray Warren

Ray Warren.jpg
Born (1943-06-11) 11 June 1943 (age 77)
Other namesRabbits, Rabby, The Voice of Rugby League [1]
OccupationSports commentator
Years active1967−present
EmployerNine Network Triple M
Spouse(s)Cher Warren
ChildrenChris Warren (son)
Holly Warren (daughter)
Mark Warren (son)

On Saturday mornings, he is a member of the panel on Triple M Sydney's radio Saturday morning sports program Dead Set Legends. Warren's nickname is "Rabbits", as in a rabbit's warren.


Born in Junee, New South Wales on 11 June 1943,[2] Warren initially followed in the footsteps of his brother by joining the police force. He initially joined the NSW Police Cadets on 5 December 1960[3] and then transferred to the ACT Police in Canberra in 1964.[4] Warren stated he served a total of three years in the ACT Police during the Channel 9 broadcast of the NRL Round 23 Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters match on 19 August 2018.[5] It was during his 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.[6] He also became Network Ten's chief Rugby League caller in 1983.[7] 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.[2]

Over the next six years, Warren would also travel many miles to call horse races. In 1988 he was recruited by the Nine Network to commentate on the 1988 Rugby League World Cup final and the 1989 state of origin series alongside Darrell Eastlake and Balmain Tigers coach Warren Ryan, 1989 Trans-Tasman test series alongside Darrell Eastlake again and Jack Gibson 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 1991 State of Origin Series, 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.

Previously, Warren also worked 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 was the footy-tip guru with Newcastle's radio station NXFM on the Steve and Kim (& Damo!) Morning Breakfast Talk Show (until the show was cancelled on 26-Oct-2012).[8][9]

Warren is also a contributor on Melbourne's Sport 927.

On 6 August 2011, a bronze statue of Warren was erected in his hometown of Junee.[10]

In August 2019, Warren was inducted into the National Rugby League Hall of Fame.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Ray Warren lives in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill with his wife, Cher, and daughter, Holly. Ray's son, Chris Warren,[12] 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. He now works for 2GB Sydney on their NRL coverage and Fox Sports News. 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.[13]

His other son Mark is the Director of the company Warren Media, a voice over artist and media buyer. [14]


  1. ^ http://www.4bc.com.au/podcast/the-voice-of-rugby-league/
  2. ^ a b Derriman, Philip (24 September 2005). "Warren still going full scream ahead". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  3. ^ http://www.expolicecadets.asn.au/personality.php?id=35
  4. ^ https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/19627725?q&versionId=23066027
  5. ^ https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/08/20/full-match-replay-raiders-v-roosters---round-23-2018/
  6. ^ Webster, Andrew "A few drinks with Ray Warren Archived 20 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine", Inside Sport magazine, April 2004
  7. ^ AAP (11 June 2011). "Ray Warren diagnosed with prostate cancer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  8. ^ "NXFM Says goodbye to Steve And Kim".
  9. ^ NXFM Official Statement (Steve & Kim Breakfast Show) (PDF) http://radiotoday.com.au/media/files/nx.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Riccio, David (6 August 2011). "Legendary commentator Ray Warren honoured with bronze statue in Junee". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Peter Sterling leads tributes to Hall of Fame inductee Ray Warren". WWOS.
  12. ^ "Chris Warren is a presenter on FOX SPORTS NEWS". www.foxsports.com.au. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  13. ^ Sygall, David (2 May 2010). "Rabs admits: gambling cost me a better life". The Age. Australia: Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  14. ^ http://warrenmedia.com.au/mark-warren/broadcaster/