V2 Referee and former marine Jack Smith during the Rugby League Betfred Super League Round 4 Hull FC vs Wakefield Trinity at KCOM Stadium 230421 CREDIT DEAN WILLIAMS, ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Former marine Jack Smith during Hull FC vs Wakefield Trinity earlier this year (Picture: Dean Williams/Alamy Stock Photo).
Rugby League

Royal Marines veteran shot in chest by Taliban rejoins RFL's full-time referees panel

Former Royal Marine commando Jack Smith was hit by a Taliban sniper while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

V2 Referee and former marine Jack Smith during the Rugby League Betfred Super League Round 4 Hull FC vs Wakefield Trinity at KCOM Stadium 230421 CREDIT DEAN WILLIAMS, ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Former marine Jack Smith during Hull FC vs Wakefield Trinity earlier this year (Picture: Dean Williams/Alamy Stock Photo).

Former Royal Marine commando Jack Smith has rejoined the Rugby Football League's panel of full-time referees.

Smith, who was shot through the chest by a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan in 2010, was a full-time official from 2016-17 but reverted to being part-time for the last four years.

Now 32, he is back on the nine-strong Super League panel, alongside new appointees Liam Rush, who will become the youngest full-time referee at 21, and Australia-born James Vella.

They will fill the vacancies created by the decisions of Robert Hicks and Scott Mikalauskas to go part-time.

Steve Ganson, the RFL's head of match officials, said: "On behalf of the RFL and the wider game, I thank Scott Mikaluaskas for his five years on the full-time panel, following his decision to step away for personal and professional reasons.

"Scott has been a valuable member of our squad – and like Robert Hicks, whose departure from the full-time squad was announced recently, it is very good news that he will remain available as a part-time official.

"The full-time squad for 2022 has a good blend of experience and some new faces who I am sure will take the opportunities they will be presented with throughout 2022 and beyond."

The other full-time referees for 2022 are Ben Thaler, James Child, Chris Kendall, Liam Moore, Tom Grant and Marcus Griffiths.