Stuart Cummings leaves TV job to take up new IRL position

Former referee Stuart Cummings.Former referee Stuart Cummings.
Former referee Stuart Cummings.
STUART Cummings has relinquished his role as a Sky Sports pundit after becoming the International Rugby League’s first match official manager.

The news will delight many viewers who wondered why the former Super League referee was ever included on the broadcaster’s commentary team.

Cummings’s involvement meant plenty of airtime was spent analysing referees’ decisions which was not seen as a positive for the sport.

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But the 59-year-old will now concentrate on helping the IRL increase the pool of officials suitably qualified and experienced enough to officiate the growing number of international matches played around the world.

Cummings, who has also worked extensively in other sports’ officiating departments, including cricket, netball and weightlifting, refereed more than 400 first-team rugby league games including two World Cup finals and two Grand Finals.

He said: “Since I refereed my first international in 1994, I have seen officiating in international competition as the pinnacle of a match official’s career.

“I look forward to developing opportunities for officials to experience some of the highs that I did during my officiating career as well as working with countries where rugby league is developing as a sport in order to create pathways for their match officials to progress.”

Catalans Dragons have released Challenge Cup winner and Fiji centre Brayden Wiliame, 26, ahead of a move to the NRL side St George-Illawarra