#TeamRef’s growth crucial for successful Touch in England
Referees manager Nicolas van de Rijt says that this crucial aspect of the sport is developing all the time in England, which is being reflected in the selection of officials for this summer’s Premiership Permit tournament.
Nearly half of the officials in Edinburgh will be from England, and the number of referees is growing in the country all the time. Already this year 27 referees successfully achieved their Level 1 qualification, the latest five of whom received their badges at last weekend’s STEEDEN NTS in Newbold, and 111 people have attended courses.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, but we feel like there is a bigger base coming through,” van de Rijt says. “We’re trying to get more referees through the pyramid, which will be good for development in England.”
The referees who will be heading north joined the Premiership Permit squads at Welbeck recently, a weekend that van de Rijt said was crucial in the group’s preparations.
“Of the 24 referees at this event 11 are from England, which is a massive achievement,” he says. “We also have quite a few referees going to the senior and championship tournaments as well, so that’s good for England as well.
“Referees as much as players are preparing for the international tournaments this summer. Referees have goals as much as players have goals, and we’re working with them specifically and individually to ensure that they have the best preparation.
“Referees need games, and having high level competitive games where players are fighting for their spots is really good test for referees, because at international tournaments they need to achieve the same levels as they had here.”
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