All female team of rugby league officials to make history at Featherstone BARLA finals

History will be made at Featherstone Rovers' Millennium Stadium on Saturday when for the first time, an all-girls team of match officials will take charge of a BARLA Yorkshire Youth and Junior Cup final.

By Mark Berry
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:31 pm
Rugby league news
Rugby league news

The young history makers are referee Rhiannin Horsman, touch judge Annabelle Jackson, both from Leeds Referees Society, touch judge Megan Mills, from Hull Referees Society, and reserve Beth Neilson, from Huddersfield Referees Society.

They will be officiating the opening game of a triple header on Saturday, the Under-12s Cup final, when West Hull play Castleford Lock Lane at 10.30am.

Steve Race, Yorkshire Match Officials Manager, said: “I was put in this role November time and I made it a goal to have an all girls match officials team take charge of a Yorkshire Cup final for the first time.

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“I believe this is huge for our sport, which is male dominant and has been for decades, it just shows how the game is growing and how many females are wanting to take up the whistle.

“It’s great to see an all female match officials team take charge of a final. Female involvement is getting stronger and stronger each year. Huge congratulations girls should be proud of the appointment, selected after hard work and dedication shown through the season.”

BARLA Chair Sue Taylor said: “I would like to congratulate all the girls match officials who will be in charge. It’s an honour for them, their families and their respective referees societies for all the hard work they have all put in to get to this stage of their referee careers.

“It is a day that none of them will forget for the rest of their lives, in years to come it will become the norm for all girls match officials teams taking charge of games of any genders. Girls taking up the programme will now be aware of the pathway open to them.”