RFL to employ full-time referees
The RFL is to employ full-time referees. The development was agreed following a meeting of the RFL Board of Directors this week.
A recruitment process will now begin with the intention of having six full-time referees in post at the start of the 2007 season.
Once appointed, the referees will be available to take charge of any RFL matches. They will also act as mentors for Academy match officials.
The initiative is also an element of the Super League Strategy, which sets out a vision for the future of the sport's elite competition. It is also being part-funded by the engage Super League clubs.
Commenting on the news, the RFL Match Officials Director, Stuart Cummings, said: ‚"This is a tremendous development for Rugby League Match Officials in this country. It will allow referees to prepare fully for games as well as giving them the ability to analyse their own performances in detail.‚"
The RFL's Executive Chairman, Richard Lewis, added: ‚"The move to full-time referees is a clear indication of the growing strength of the sport and shows that both the RFL and the engage Super League competition are in a position to begin this important initiative.‚"
All full-time referees will be employed by the RFL and will be based at Red Hall in Leeds.
The RFL will make further announcements and release further details as the full time referees programme develops.