It’s episode 20 of Talking European Rugby League and Graeme Thompson meets long-term RLEF Match Official Manager Tom Mather.

Here, Tom recounts his own career as an official and his journey towards becoming an officials educator. He highlights how significant it is for match officials, like players, to achieve international debuts.

In 2014 Tom found himself to be the sole person in the world refereeing an international match between Ukraine and Russia in 2014, whilst the countries were at war with each other over the Crimea. Tom offers insight into how Europe has developed to having a diverse set of match officials across the Confederation, including local educators. Finally, he looks to the future and would dearly love to see some of those he has worked with in the last 10 years progress to World Cup officiating.

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