After 15 seasons as a Super League referee, we won’t be seeing James Child blowing the whistle in a Super League game for the first time in years as he today confirmed his decision to step away from his role as a full time official.
Child has taken charge of the biggest games in rugby league making his Grand Final debut in 2017 as Leeds Rhinos battled Castleford Tigers.
But why has he made this decision to step away from the game.
Speaking to the RFL, he revealed that he is taking on an exciting new role outside of rugby league.
“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,” Child said.
“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.”
This came after Robert Hicks reduced the number of games he was involved in as he took on a new role with the RFL.
So, what does this mean for the officials in 2023?
Serious About Rugby League understands that next year’s Super League line up is still a work in progress meaning that the friendlies in the coming weeks give referees the opportunity to cement themselves in Super League.