WHEN Liverpool St Helens take to the field at Altrincham Kersal on the first Saturday in January, as in all games this season, running the line will be touch judge Ross Higham.
Ross, 15, one of the youngest accredited officials in senior rugby in the country, will do so with the confidence and composure that has won him plaudits throughout the RFU’s North One West Division.
Ross gained the RFU Young Officials Award at the beginning of 2011 and is now in his second season as assistant referee for LSH. The honour provides an introduction for those aged between 14 and 19 into the officiating role, and allows them to get to grips with the basics of refereeing covering the fundamentals of officiating including communication, positioning, attitudes, management and control.
The Rainhill High School student began playing at LSH when aged seven with the mini section and now turns out with the under-16s playing inside-centre, as well as regularly refereeing junior games.
He enjoys all the different aspects of his involvement in the game and if he wishes to progress will study for the Entry Level Referees Award. He is, however, just happy doing what he is doing.
He said: “For the moment I like playing as much as refereeing or running touch and will wait and see what happens”.
Also a promising cricketer with Rainhill CC, Ross represented the St Helens District under-15 side last year.
LSH president Ray French said: “We are all very proud of young Ross. “He knows exactly what he is doing, takes everything in his stride and is a fine young man. “We are very pleased to have him at Moss Lane.”