Referee Bentham proud of Wembley hat-trick

Cup final referee Phil Bentham
Cup final referee Phil Bentham
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Phil Bentham will complete a hat-trick of Wembley appearances when he referees Saturday’s Challenge Cup final between Castleford and Leeds.

Bentham made his Challenge Cup final debut in 2011 and controlled last year’s final between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC.

He will be assisted by touch-judges Joe Cobb and Robert Hicks, while Ben Thaler will be the video referee alongside video referee spotter Steve Ganson.

“I started refereeing in 1998 and my goal was always to officiate in the Challenge Cup final,” said Bentham. “To get to my third final is a massive privilege because this is the most prestigious match in rugby league.

“I went to final after final when I was younger, and I always dreamt of playing in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium as a kid – now I can taste the atmosphere of a Cup final again, officiating two sides looking to make Cup history.

“The competition to be appointed to this game has been massive, the officials department as a whole has had a strong season and our team on the day have all earned their places.

“Joe Cobb’s appointment as touch-judge proves that there is a way through to the big events in the sport for part-time officials who have the right amount of dedication and commitment.”

Hull KR have signed England Knights winger Kieran Dixon from London Broncos on a three-year contract, starting next season.

His signature is a significant coup for the Yorkshire club given the obvious promise shown during his early career in the capital.

One of Super League’s most promising players, Dixon has scored 38 tries in 52 appearances although this campaign had largely been written off after he endured a knee injury while on international duty last October.

That scuppered a potential move to Wigan Warriors – he only returned to Super League action with a try in relegated London’s shock win against Leeds on Sunday – but Hull KR have clearly benefitted.

Dixon, 22 on Friday, said: “I made the England Knights squad at the end of last year but my injury halted my progress a little bit.

“It’s been frustrating but after two good years I’m hoping I can get back to my best form and challenge for an England spot.”

Sheffield Eagles host Rochdale Hornets tonight (7.30) in the Kingstone Press Championship.