European Rugby League is celebrating the geographical spread of the match officials appointments for the 2021 European Championships B and D, with seven nations represented. At the same time, the officials are demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability with a new kit, designed by partners Canterbury.
Euro B, which took place last week in Belgrade between Russia, Ukraine and hosts Serbia, saw James Jones (Wales), Stephane Vincent (France), Andrew Pilkington (Spain) and Stefan Stamenic (Serbia) take charge of the matches.
Euro D, which will commence later this week and be contested by Czechia, Malta, Netherlands and hosts Turkey in the seaside resort of Bodrum, will be officiated by Eamonn Whelan (Ireland), Tony Palacios (Spain), Jarda Bzoch (Czechia) and Aris Dardamanis (Greece).
Since its inception, European Rugby League has been working with its members to develop match officials across the federation’s membership and the ability to now draw on a wide range of countries is testament to the work that has taken place to improve technical competency.
“All of the officials selected are either in the International or Emerging Match Officials squads, and it shows how far the education programme has come in Europe that we can appoint such a wide range to the European Championships,” noted Tom Mather, European Rugby League’s match officials manager. “All of the officials have been selected based on their performances during the season in their domestic competitions and they should be proud to have been appointed to these international competitions.”
In another bold move, their new kit is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester.
“Canterbury are committed to being a sustainable business both in our ways of working and also through the products we produce,” explained Ian Watkinson, Pentland Brand’s regional account manager for Teamwear. “With this in mind, it is really exciting to see the European Rugby League using our Eco Sub Performance Tee for their Match officials in the October fixtures and beyond.”
“The ERL shirt is perfect for officiating,” said James Jones, who became Wales’s first dual-code international referee. “The quality is excellent and it’s lightweight and a smart design.”
The new match officials kit will be available to order in the near future as part of a range of European Rugby League merchandise.