Bentham to ref Atlantic Cup

Super League referee Phil Bentham will take charge of the Atlantic Cup competition featuring USA, Canada and Jamaica.

Bentham will fly out to Jacksonville for the competition which sees three games played on November 16th, 18th and 20th. The USA take on Jamaica in the first game, before the Jamaicans play Canada and then the three game tournament comes to a close with the USA against Canada.

Rob Irwin, who is the head of the officials group for the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) was a key factor in securing the appointment. Rob worked closely with Tas Bateri, who is the development officer for the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), and through their discussions and contacts with the RFL, were able to secure their support in providing Phil for this event.

“This is big step in legitimizing the event” said Spinner Howland, who is working closely with the AMNRL to ensure a first class event is hosted in Jacksonville, Florida. “The fact that the head of the AMNRL Officials and the head of Rugby League Development for the world are actively involved in this, shows just how serious their view of the event is.

“Rugby League, through the AMNRL, is making progress in the USA and we are very aware that the international powers within the sport are watching this event closely. This is chance for Jacksonville to represent the AMNRL on the world stage and we are flattered and very thankful for this level of support from everyone involved in providing an important facet of the event.”

In addition to the being the head official for all three games, Phil will also host some clinics for budding officials not only from the local area, but also for both the visiting teams. The importance of having good quality officials is something that all sports require, yet it is often a rarely thought of component, so having all the top people from three nations in the one place at the same time presented a great opportunity to deliver clinics to officials.

Rob Irwin has taken a lead role in increasing the level in the AMNRL officials and has also secured an exchange program for an American Official to spend time in Australia during 2011 to further develop his skills. He is also planning additional clinics within the USA early in 2011 for all the current and new officials.

2010 ATLANTIC CUP SCHEDULE

Nov 16 USA v Jamaica
Nov 18 Canada v Jamaica
Nov 20 USA v Canada

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