In recent times, we have seen top referees like Robert Hicks take a step back whilst James Child has left the RFL to take on a new career outside of rugby league.
But now the RFL has confirmed every full time referee for the 2023 season, the top end referees we will see in Super League week in week out.
Here is the full list of every full time official for the 2023 season:
It is a fairly young group of officials with Liam Rush born in 2000 and the first full time official born in the 21st Century.
It’s easy to forget that the likes of 2020 Challenge Cup Final official and 2021 and 2022 Super League Grand Final referee Liam Moore is only five years older as is Marcus Griffiths whilst Tom Grant is only a touch older than the two.
There are only three officials born in the 1980s on the list in the shape of James Vella, who joined the full time officials last season, Jack Smith and the most experienced official amongst the list Ben Thaler.
So, on the whole Super League’s officials have a bright future with plenty of young officials taking the game forward helped along by some experienced heads.
This comes after James Child confirmed his departure.
He explained the decision: “I’ve been refereeing since I was 11 so this was a tough decision to make, but it’s the right time for a variety of reasons.
“I have always combined my role as a match official with my profession as a Chartered Surveyor, and after 17 years with Leeds City Council I’m joining the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment company, CBRE, as an Associate Director in their Development Advisory team – based in the Leeds office, but working across the North of England.
“I’m not sure at this stage whether I’ll be staying involved in Rugby League in an active capacity but I will remain a passionate supporter of the sport I have always loved, and will always bang the drum.
“I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and memories throughout my years in the sport. To be appointed for a major match is an honour and a responsibility – and to be in the middle for the Challenge Cup Final this summer was a special moment, as the competition has so much history and I’ve been watching it all my life.”
Now it is on these eight officials to fill the void.