Retired Super League referee James Child on the two rules he would change in rugby league

JAMES CHILD hung up his whistle for good earlier this week following over a decade of officiating at the highest level.

Having officiated at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Challenge Cup Finals, the 2007 and 2008 Super League Grand Finals and most notably the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Final, Child became one of the most consistent referees to have graced the summer competition since it began.

And, at the age of 39, that journey is now over as Child heads into the world of surveying.

In terms of the game of rugby league itself, Child believes that two rules should be changed – and that a third general rule should be introduced.

“The main rule change I would bring in would be the ability to generate a penalty from the scrum,” Child told League Express.

|We changed the scrum rule so you could have a scum to split the backs and create an attacking opportunity but some teams concede a penalty for offside at the scrum knowing a team can’t kick for two, hoping that the referee doesn’t see it as a major infringement and sinbin for it.

“We have sinbinned this year for it because teams have used it as a deliberate ploy or we have warned teams that a sinbin could follow.

“There is an easy way to resolve that and it is to make it a full penalty rather than a differential one. Teams could potentially concede two points off the back of it and potentially a sinbin. All penalties at scrums should be full ones.”

In terms of the wider game, Child would like to see a unified set of rules between Super League, the NRL and the IRL as well as a video referee at each Super League game.

“More generally speaking, trying to have a collective set of interpretations for the game instead of the differences we have in the NRL and Super League is important, but I can’t see that ever happening to be honest.

“The last year or few years it has been about handling foul play. It’s a challenging aspect that the game has become contentious on how to sanction players either in game or post game for foul play.

“That is always challenging and there is an inconsistency in the competition when games are on TV with the benefit of a video referee and a replay. For me, there needs to be a video referee at each game to show the consistency.”