History making referee named as part of official team for upcoming Hull FC clash

RFL Referee Tara Jones.
RFL Referee Tara Jones. -Credit:SW Pix

Tara Jones has been named as one of the officials for Hull FC's clash against London Broncos this weekend. The 27-year-old made rugby league history last month after becoming the first woman appointed to referee a senior domestic professional fixture in the Northern Hemisphere.

Jones, who also plays for both St Helens and England Women, took charge of the League One fixture between Oldham and Cornwall at Boundary Park, following in the footsteps of Sarah Bennison, who is thought to be the only woman to have refereed a senior league fixture previously – but only for the second half.

Bennison had become a regular touch judge for Championship One matches, as well as refereeing in the National Conference League, and then stepped up as referee for a match between Workington Town and Swinton in 2011 when the appointed referee Jamie Leahy suffered a severe nosebleed and was unable to continue.

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Jones, meanwhile, has been named as one of the touch judges for Sunday's clash, which will be refereed by Chris Kendall. Liam Moore is the video referee, with Ryan Cox the other touch judge.

Phil Bentham, the RFL’s Head of Match Officials, was full of praise for Jones upon her call up to referee a men's game last month. He said: "Tara has earned this opportunity after years of steady development as a match official through the community game and as a regular touch judge and in-goal judge for professional matches.

"She has received high-profile appointments in a number of competitions, including this season’s Challenge Cup, and has impressed everyone with the way she has performed – earning the respect of players, coaches and her fellow match officials."

Sunday is Hull FC's first visit to London's current Cherry Red Records Stadium home. The two teams last met in the capital at Ealing's Trailfinders ground back in 2019.

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