James Child calls for rugby league to “grow up” in terms of communication with officials

James Child was a brilliant referee but going into 2023 he stepped back from the role having taken charge of the 2022 Challenge Cup Final.

However, his insight is still important for the sport and recently he spoke on BBC 5 Live and called for the sport to grow up in terms of club’s relationships with referees.

He believes there needs to be more communication between clubs and officials and calls for rival clubs to not raise concerns about these meetings instead arrange meetings of their own to ensure transparency across the league.

He said: “I think there’s a hesitancy from the department and I think some clubs would be concerned that ‘hang on a minute, that referee has been with them and he’s then reffing them in a week or two. What’s been said, what’s been done?’

“But I think we need to grow up a little bit and if it’s done on a regular basis and each club has that opportunity then there’s that level playing field and I don’t see an issue.

“It helps build those conversations and relationships with players because now a days there’s less mixing with players, after Covid, with match officials having food in their dressing room.

“Having those snippets of conversation where you come across as a human being just helps with communication.”

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