International Rugby League celebrates spread of match officials
With so much of the international competition taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, it is not unexpected that the range of match officials appointed will demonstrate the growth and success of officiating programmes in Europe.
The fixtures in Euro B, Euro D, senior men’s international games featuring France, England, Jamaica and Scotland, women’s matches featuring, England, France, Wales and Ireland and wheelchair internationals featuring France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will all feature referees appointed from the three levels of match official panels created by IRL Match Officials Manager, Stuart Cummings.
The end of year programme will feature sixteen fixtures, fifteen nations and officials from eight different countries who are all part of the international match official panel programme. The panels are designed to support and develop referees through from domestic competitions to senior international matches.
European Rugby League’s match official manager, Tom Mather is an integral part of that programme and he commented upon the spread of the appointments saying, “All of the officials selected are either in the International or Emerging Match Officials squads, and it shows how far the education programme has come in Europe that we can appoint such a wide range to the European Championships.
“All of the officials have been selected based on their performances during the season in their domestic competitions and they should be proud to have been appointed to these international competitions.”
Stuart Cummings echoed Tom’s views saying, “We wanted to create a structure that would support and assist referees across the Rugby League International community and the appointments we are making shows that some progress is being made. To see officials from such a varied background taking charge of these games is pleasing and great credit must go to European Rugby League and Tom for the commitment shown over many years to create this pathway for match officials. Once we can return to global international fixtures, we will be able to deploy even more referees from around the world and I look forward to seeing them all develop and flourish in the international arena.”