Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons will meet in the 2023 Super League Grand Final on Saturday and it will be a huge night for all 34 players involved but also the officials tasked with taking charge of the game.
It will be one of the greatest Grand Finals ever with Wigan chasing a sixth Super League title in a 12th Super League Grand Final appearance.
Catalans Dragons meanwhile have become only the sixth team to reach more than one Grand Finals alongside Wigan, Leeds, Warrington, St Helens and Bradford. They lost the 2021 Grand Final to St Helens as a brace of Kevin Naiqama tries gave the Saints the title.
They will be looking to right that wrong in 2023. The officials for that game were a major talking point as Bernard Guasch said that the club wouldn’t partake in another Grand Final with British officials.
Well it was inevitable that we would see the best British official in which with the RFL having a four man shortlist for the show piece.
This included Chris Kendall, Liam Moore, Jack Smith and Ben Thaler. Thaler is the most experiences of the officials. Kendall officiated in Grand Finals in 2019 and 2020 and Liam Moore has officiated the last two Grand Finals.
Kendall was in charge of the Challenge Cup Final earlier this year. This shortlist has been evident through the officials so far in the play-offs.
Now though the RFL have made their decision on who will take charge of the Grand Final on Saturday.
Liam Moore has been appointed to referee a third consecutive Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday night.
He was the referee at the heart of the Grand Final controversy that led to Bernard Guasch demanding Australian officials in future Grand Finals.
Serious About Rugby League understands this grudge has been let go.
The 28-year-old, who made history as the youngest ever Challenge Cup Final referee when he took charge of the 2020 clash between Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils shortly after turning 25, will be supported by this year’s Cup Final referee Chris Kendall, who will be the video official.
Jonnie Roberts and Richard Thompson will be the touch judges.
Jack Smith has been appointed to referee the Betfred Championship Grand Final between Toulouse Olympique and London Broncos on Sunday afternoon, with Ben Thaler as the video referee.
Liam Rush will be one touch judge alongside Stephane Vincent, the leading French official who was a touch judge in last Friday’s Betfred Super League semi final between Catalans Dragons and St Helens.
Matt Ball has been appointed as the lead referee for the Betfred Wheelchair Super League Grand Final between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors at the National Basketball Centre in Manchester on Sunday evening.
Ollie Cruickshank will be the referee, with David Butler and Becky Whiteley the touch judges.
Match Officials appointments, October 14-15
Betfred Super League Grand Final – Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons – Saturday, 6pm, Old Trafford
Referee: Liam Moore
Video Referee: Chris Kendall
Touch Judges: Jonnie Roberts and Richard Thompson
Reserve Referee: Tom Grant
Reserve Touch Judge: Dean Bowmer
Betfred Championship Grand Final – Toulouse Olympique v London Broncos – Sunday, 230pm BST, Stade Ernest Wallon
Referee: Jack Smith
Video Referee: Ben Thaler
Touch Judges: Liam Rush and Stephane Vincent
Betfred Wheelchair Super League Grand Final – Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors – Sunday, 530pm, Manchester
Lead: Matt Ball
Referee: Ollie Cruickshank
In Goal 1: David Butler
In Goal 2: Becky Whiteley
Reserve Referees: Jake Brook / Karli Wilkinson