The first Wales Rugby League match officials course of the year will be on Sunday 22nd January at a South Wales at Glyncoch Sports and Social, home of Rhondda Outlaws, from 9am-2pm. Please register your interest at https://wrl.wales/match-official-course-registration-form
WRL will be building on 2022, a year that was exciting and successful for our match officials.
Our management team has worked closer than ever with the European Rugby League and the Rugby Football League in opening doors for opportunities over and above our domestic competition.
We have seen eight Welsh-based officials graded onto the RFL ladder which has exceeded all expectations. Such growth resulted in a full team of Welsh officials appointed to a professional league RFL fixture for the first time!
On the international stage, our exposure has grown massively – Welsh officials taking charge of several junior international matches as a full team and games being streamed to a live audience. In addition, head of match officials, James Jones furthered his international career being appointed to referee the England v France women’s test match along with the Womens Challenge Cup semi-final and Womens Super League play-off semi-final – all of which were shown live on Sky Sports.
Testiment to our international success was having two of our officials, Kristoff Young and Rob Apsee, appointed to the U19 European Championships in Italy. Once again this is a first for Wales Rugby League. An extremely proud moment for us all was seeing Kristoff appointed to referee the final between England and France!
We move into 2023 with a lot of optimism and excitement. Our domestic pool of referees are looking forward to the season ahead and with new match official courses due early in the year, we aim to grow our numbers. Development sessions are also planned and the referee department has strengthened the management team with the appointment of Ian Curzon as Match Officials Coach / Development officer. Ian brings a wealth of knowledge; being a northerner living down south for many years he is officially an adopted Welshman!
Importantly, touch judge development is a key focus for us in 2023 and Ian will head up this project.
The Wales RL referee department aim to continue to work closely with the RFL and ERL / IRL with the aim to create further representative opportunities as the year progresses. We also aim to continue to build relationships with our Welsh clubs and promote a consistent approach to the upcoming season.
WRL General Manager Mark Jones said: “Wales Rugby League would like to thank all our match officials for there excellent achievements in 2022. WRL have broken records with participation figures in 2022, and these games wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have match officials. Recruitment and development is one of our priorities over the next three years, if you would like to join the RL family please apply.”