Exclusive: Ex-Super League official Gareth Hewer reveals the changes needed to improve standard of refereeing

Gareth Hewer retired at the end of the 2021 Super League season as a full-time referee.

Hewer, who officiated the 2016 Challenge Cup Final, hung up his whistle with over 170 professional games under his belt

In bowing out, the Cumbrian followed in the past footsteps of the likes of Phil Bentham, Matt Thomason, George Stokes, Joe Cobb and Sam Ansell.

On exiting the game, however, Hewer has some pointers on how the standard of officiating can improve from top to bottom.

“I think it needs to go full-time for the professional game because the game is developing that fast.

“It needs more investment to develop the grassroots referees as they are the future.

“At the moment the structure in place with the RFL is geared towards the pro side of the game and there’s not much for referees coming through.”

Hewer revealed why the reason that is.

“It’s what to do with the funding because it’s not there to be able to give that kind of support.

“With the reduced financial side of things from Sky it will have a knock on effect and some clubs, even the professional ones, have been highlighting that the reduced finances is a detriment to the game.”

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