Stuart Cummings is to relinquish his role as RFL Match Officials Director with effect from March 20 2013.
Stuart will continue to work with the governing body on a consultancy basis and will be responsible for match officials’ arrangements during the Rugby League World Cup later this year.
A former International Referee of the Year, Stuart officiated in four Challenge Cup finals, two Super League Grand Finals and two World Cup Finals before heading up the RFL Match Officials’ department in 2000, and later overseeing the successful implementation of a panel of full-time referees in 2007.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “On behalf of the whole sport I would like to thank Stuart for his terrific work in the Match Officials Department, which has been transformed under his stewardship.
“Stuart’s lasting legacy will be the professionalism he instilled in the sport’s match officials and I am delighted that he has agreed to continue to assist us going forward in what is a pivotal year for the sport.
“With the Rugby League World Cup just a few months away, Stuart will continue to make an important contribution to the sport, and through his consultancy in a range of initiatives.
“Given the intense scrutiny referees face, it is to Stuart’s credit that he has fulfilled the hardest job in Rugby League with diligence, dignity and above all integrity.”
Stuart Cummings said: “My role as RFL Match Officials’ Director has been both challenging and rewarding. However, after 24 years at the top level of refereeing, I now feel the time is right to move on to other projects and opportunities, whilst maintaining contact with Rugby League.
“Just as the sport has advanced in the modern era, so too have the demands on all our match officials and I am proud of the way in which the referees and touch-judges have responded to the challenge and are universally acknowledged by other sporting bodies as officials who command respect, which is the result of their hard work and dedication.
“With record numbers of people playing Rugby League around the UK, I look forward to continuing to work with referees around the country, to improve their experience of officiating and to advise them on their path to success in the game.”
Stuart Cummings’s responsibilities will be absorbed internally with many duties shared by Match Officials Coach Ian Smith and Technical Co-ordinator Jon Sharp.