Ref Hicks set for Magic bow


Super League referee Robert Hicks will take charge of his first Millennium Magic fixture on Saturday when he officiates at the Catalan Dragons v Harlequins RL game (3.00pm) at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Hicks, 29, who was promoted to the RFL Match Officials Squad last November, has been a senior referee since 2005 and made his debut in Super League on June 20 last year when he was the man in the middle for Leeds Rhinos v Crusaders.

Hicks and the referees who will control the six other Engage Super League fixtures on the opening weekend of the 2011 season will sport a new look in the colours of a kit supplied to the Super League referees in partnership with Super League sponsor’s Engage Mutual Assurance and manufacturer ISC.

The kits all contain some of the Engage Mutual logo colours with the principle strip comprising a black shirt with white detail, black shorts and black socks. The secondary kit consists of a green shirt with yellow detail while the alternative kit is a blue shirt with claret detail.

ISC Chief Executive Brett Corrick said: “ISC is pleased to have signed a deal with the RFL that will allow us to expand our brand presence across the UK and northern Europe.

“This deal with the RFL referees will see us create exposure across the Rugby League competition and reach hundreds of thousands of spectators and viewers.”

Ben Thaler will be the first referee to sport one of the new ISC strips at Millennium Magic when he takes charge of the opening fixture between Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves at 1.00pm on Saturday.

Following Thaler and Hicks, James Child will officiate at the fixture between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (5.00pm). 

After refereeing the 2010 Grand Final between Wigan Warriors and St Helens, Richard Silverwood will be back in charge of the two sides when they meet again in the closing game on Saturday at 7.00pm.

French referee Thierry Alibert will take charge of the first game on Sunday between Salford City Red and Crusaders at 12.00pm before Steve Ganson officiates in the Leeds Rhinos versus Bradford Bulls fixture (2.00).

Phil Bentham will control the climax to Millennium Magic when Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers clash at 4.00pm on Sunday February 13.