Rugby League’s Elite Officiators Shine at Wembley: A Celebration of Excellence

Rugby league’s finest referees are set to take center stage at the iconic Wembley Stadium this weekend, showcasing their exceptional talent and dedication. From seasoned veterans like Chris Kendall to rising stars like Beth Neilson, these match officials are poised to deliver an unforgettable day of high-caliber officiating across a variety of prestigious finals.

Rugby League’s Finest Referees Take Center Stage at Wembley

On Monday, Chris Kendall received an unexpected 32nd birthday present – the honor of refereeing his second consecutive Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. This recognition, however, is not simply a gesture of sentiment, but a testament to Kendall’s consistent form and excellence on the pitch. The Yorkshireman first took charge of the Challenge Cup Final in 2022, when Leigh Leopards defeated Hull KR.

Kendall’s appointment continues a trend of his regular involvement in Wembley Finals, dating back to 2017 when he served as a touch judge for Hull FC’s victory over Wigan Warriors. He was then selected to referee the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final in 2019 between Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings, and has acted as the video referee for the 2021 and 2022 Betfred Challenge Cup Finals.

Diverse Officiating Team for Wembley Finals

Joining Kendall at Wembley this weekend will be Richard Thompson and Johnny Roberts as touch judges, with Liam Moore appointed as the video referee.

In a historic moment, Beth Neilson of the Huddersfield Referees Society will become the first woman to officiate a senior Wembley Final, as the referee for the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final. Neilson, a 31-year-old, has earned this opportunity through her impressive performances in the community game and the Betfred Women’s Super League. She will be supported by Neil Horton and Aaron Moore, who will take charge of his first Wembley Final in only his second full season as a member of the RFL’s full-time match officials squad. Experienced Ben Thaler will serve as the video referee.

Tom Grant, refereeing the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Sheffield Eagles and Wakefield Trinity, will also make his Wembley debut, with Mark Craven and Warren Turley as his touch judges.

Youth Officiating Team for Champion Schools Final

The action-packed day at Wembley Stadium on 8 June will commence with the inspiresport Champion Schools Final for Year 7 Boys, featuring a youthful officiating team. 18-year-old Tyler Topping from Wigan will take the whistle, with Liam Breheny, George Cox, Lochlan Mills, and Esmai Wright supporting him.

“Congratulations to all the officials who have been appointed for the four Finals at Wembley this weekend,” said Phil Bentham, the RFL’s Head of Match Officials. “It’s an opportunity for us to recognise excellence at various levels, whether in our full-time squad or in developing match officials.”

With a diverse array of experienced and up-and-coming referees taking center stage, rugby league enthusiasts can look forward to a thrilling day of high-caliber officiating at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

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