Former international referee Stuart Cummings has stepped down from his duties with Sky Sports to take up a role with International Rugby League.
Cummings has been a mainstay of Sky’s coverage of Super League in recent years, offering analysis of refereeing decisions throughout the 80 minutes.
But he will not be a part of their presentation in 2020 after becoming International Rugby League’s first ever match official manager.
Cummings said: “I am really excited and honoured to be taking on this role with International Rugby League.
“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.”
IRL say the match official manager role will be “an important part of IRL’s current Global Conversion strategy which seeks to grow the number of match officials and increase the pool of officials suitably qualified and experienced enough to officiate the growing number of international matches played around the world”.
They add: “The MOM will be the public face of match officials for International Rugby League and Cummings’ portfolio will include appointments, development, high-performance evaluation, pathways and educational frameworks.”
IRL global operations manager Danny Kazandjian said:“We were really encouraged by the level of interest from highly qualified applicants for this important role.
“Stuart came through a rigorous selection process and we all look forward to working with him and helping him to grow and develop both the number and quality of the match officials available to officiate at international matches.
“Stuart brings independence, and is well respected across a number of sports.
“The high praise he has received for his achievements with other organisations underlines his capabilities. His multisport experience will be a real asset to International Rugby League.”