Student Warren Turley is on track to become one of Rugby League’s top match officials after receiving an RFL bursary to continue his studies at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Turley, 20, will have his tuition fees paid for by the sport’s governing body, who will also contribute towards his living costs. He will benefit from being able to train with the RFL’s Match Officials Squad based at Leeds Met’s Headingley Campus.
Turley, who hails from Leigh, refereed his first professional game in 2006 aged just 16 and has been a touch-judge in Engage Super League as well as refereeing in the Co-operative Championships. He will continue to officiate in both roles.
He is joined in the Match Officials Squad by two other up-and-coming talented referees in Robert Hicks and Tim Roby.
Hicks, 29, currently works as a solicitor. He officiated his first game was in 1999 and rose to prominence in 2010 when he refereed both the Northern Rail Cup final and the Co-operative Championship Grand Final as well as running the line at the 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final. He will split his time at the RFL between the Match Officials Department and the Legal Department enabling him to continue practising Law.
Tim Roby, 21, has just graduated from York University with a first class honours degree in politics. His first professional game was in 2005 and he has touch judged regularly in top Super League games before ending the 2010 season as a referee in the Championship.
Match Officials Director Stuart Cummings said: “It’s good to introduce some new personal into the squad ahead of the new season. Tim and Robert will benefit from the experience that has developed in the group while the extra numbers in the squad will increase the pressure on the squad to perform.
“Having Warren available to come into the office when his studies allow will benefit his officiating as he looks to work towards his goal of being a full-time referee. It is also important that the referees have a qualification to fall back on at the end of their refereeing career and it is good that the RFL can assist Warren in achieving this.”
Anyone interested in taking up Rugby League refereeing should visit www.therfl.co.uk/referee to find out more.