29 July 2005
Referees Bruce Robertson, Dean Richards, Tim Beddow and Andrew Small have all been promoted to the now 14-strong Rugby Football Union Elite Referee Unit with an opportunity to develop to become Premiership officials in the future.
Stratford-based Robertson was born in 1970 and is a South African who emigrated to England in 2002 and now works as a manager with Land Rover.
He played Currie Cup B rugby and provincial Under-21 and Under-23 rugby before beginning refereeing with the South Africa Rugby Union in 2001.
Former Henley and Oxfordshire player Richards was born in 1969 and represented Oxfordshire and South West Under-21s before starting his career as a referee in 1995.
The deputy head teacher was accepted on to the National Referees Panel in October 2001 and recently officiated at the IRB Under-19s World Championships in Durban, South Africa.
Cheltenham-based Beddow, a former Moseley, Northampton, Worcester and Bath hooker, started refereeing at the age of 29 and was accepted on to the National Panel three years later.
Born and educated in New Zealand, South East-based Small took up refereeing in 1993 after a serious injury suffered as a schoolboy.
He refereed for five years in Otago before moving north to Wellington, where he was a member of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union Development system for three years.
Robin Goodliffe, Paul Dix and Roger Baileff have joined the Elite Touch-Judge Panel.
Four new members have been accepted onto the National Panel - Adrian Hartwell, Paul Kimber, Rob Sheard and Steve Walters - and will be able to referee National One, Two and Three North and South matches.
Other new officials on the National Panel for next season include Mick Coleman (assessor), Richard Weaver, Mike Hamlin, Colin Macdonald, Tom Clark, Chris Harrison (all referee coaches), Dave Grashoff, Paul Dickens, Alan Hughes, Darren Beeden, Brian Bumpass, Andy Watts and Mark Doran (all touch -judges