St Helens’ Tara Jones makes history

Tara Jones at the DW Stadium
Tara Jones at the DW Stadium
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St Helens ladies star Tara Jones has made history by becoming the first on-field female official in the Betfred Super League.

Jones, who will play for St Helens Ladies in this year’s Women’s Super League, was an in-goal official during Wigan Warriors’ 30-18 victory over Wakefield Trinity at the DW Stadium on Sunday.

The no. 9 is pursuing a career both in a playing and officiating capacity and before joining St Helens Ladies she played with Thatto Heath.

She tweeted: “I’m made up at making by debut.”

Jones is regarded as one of the future stars of the sport - both as a player and official - and was unlucky not to make last year’s Women’s World Cup squad.

She has already officiated in the Championship Schools’ event which acts as a curtain-raiser to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

At eight years old, she got into Rugby League at her local community club, Crosfields in Warrington, before she started to take an interest in refereeing aged 12.

Tara was spotted playing for college and went on to be selected to play for the England Students, while continuing to play at Cronton College and studying for her university degree at Staffordshire University. Such is her passion for being involved with Rugby League, a holiday in the Cotswolds was once put on hold.

She was selected to officiate in a 2014 academy game between Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos, and she was adamant she was doing it, This meant her father, Brian, being forced to makea160-mile journey from the Cotswolds to west Yorkshire and then drive back to continue the family holiday, insisting ‘it’s all part of the job.’