Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers: Referee Ben Thaler set to reach Super League milestone in Headingley derby

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Wakefield official Ben Thaler will take charge of his 400th Betfred Super League fixture when he referees Leeds Rhinos’ derby clash with Castleford Tigers at Emerald Headingley on Friday.

Thaler, who turns 40 later this month, is the elder statesman of the RFL’s panel of full-time match officials, having joined in 2006.

In 2015 he was in charge of Rhinos’ wins in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

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From Normanton, Thaler joined the Grade One list in 2001 and made his Super League debut in a match between London Broncos and Leigh Centurions on May 29, 2005.

Ben Thaler. Picture by Tony Johnson.Ben Thaler. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Ben Thaler. Picture by Tony Johnson.

He has also been involved in the development of younger referees, both in the professional and community game including the National Conference League.

RFL head of match officials Steve Ganson said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Ben.

“To referee 400 games at the highest level in the sport will have taken a tremendous amount of personal and professional commitment to the game.

“Ben has a huge passion for refereeing and on behalf of the game I would like to recognise this milestone.”

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