Challenge Cup: Phil Bentham to referee final

Phil Bentham will referee Saturday’s Challenge Cup final between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers, the RFL have announced today.

It will be Bentham’s third Wembley appearance following his Challenge Cup final debut in 2011 and last year’s final.

He will be assisted by touch-judges Joe Cobb and Robert Hicks, while Ben Thaler will be the video referee alongside video referee spotter Steve Ganson.

“I started refereeing in 1998 and my goal was always to officiate in the Challenge Cup final,” said Bentham.

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“To get to my third final is a massive privilege because this is the most prestigious match in Rugby League.

“I went to final after final when I was younger, and I always dreamt of playing in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium as a kid – now I can taste the atmosphere of a Cup final again, officiating two sides looking to make Cup history.

“The competition to be appointed to this game has been massive, the officials department as a whole has had a strong season and our team on the day have all earned their places.

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“Joe Cobb’s appointment as touch-judge proves that there is a way through to the big events in the sport for part-time officials who have the right amount of dedication and commitment.”

The match commissioner for Saturday’s final will be Barry Lilley and the time-keeper David Campbell. The reserve referee and touch-judge are Richard Silverwood and Mark Craven, respectively.

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