Former Royal Marine commando Jack Smith rejoins RFL panel of full-time referees
The RFL has appointed three new faces to their full-time list of match officials' squad for 2022 - Liam Rush, Jack Smith and James Vella.
They will fill the vacancies left by the decisions of Robert Hicks and Scott Mikalauskas to step away from full-time officiating but at the same time remaining on a part-time basis.
Smith, who was shot through the chest by a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan in 2010, was a full-time official from 2016-17 but reverted to being part-time for the last four years.
Now 32, he is back on the nine-strong Super League panel, alongside new appointees Rush, who will become the youngest full-time referee at 21, and Australia-born Vella.
Steve Ganson, the RFL’s head of match officials, said: “On behalf of the RFL and the wider game, I thank Scott Mikaluaskas for his five years on the full-time panel, following his decision to step away for personal and professional reasons.
“Scott has been a valuable member of our squad – and like Robert Hicks, whose departure from the full-time squad was announced recently, it is very good news that he will remain available as a part-time official.
“The full-time squad for 2022 has a good blend of experience and some new faces who I am sure will take the opportunities they will be presented with throughout 2022 and beyond.”
The other full-time referees for 2022 are Ben Thaler, James Child, Chris Kendall, Liam Moore, Tom Grant and Marcus Griffiths.