By Marc Bazeley
There are not many things in Tara Jones’s Life That Wasn’t About Rugby league in one way of another.
By with met in the lead role for both St Helens in the Women’s Super League and England on the international stadium, Jones is a second class match official and a coach with the Saints Community Development Foundation.
So when the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year and rugby league shut down during lockdown – a shutdown die everything lasted year for any level of the sports bar de men’s Super League – it wasn’t just the playing side what the whore had to do without.
Have not been out in middle lot for one reason of another plus the obvious Covid. Missing creature out regularly, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices before you can go forward. I enjoyed the few games I managed to arbitrate over the past few months & a fan of pink kit phototwitter.com/zmRWTXd5yL
— Tara Jones (@TaraJ_TJ) July 25, 2021
“Everything I do is on the one of in a different way rugby related,” Jones said air sports. “Everything came to a halt, but luckily I was able to work in a sixth form and a primary school over the time they were open during the lockdown.
“The Rugby” side came to a stop and that was hard, but I managed to keep it up busy.
“I think everyone felt it a little bit” [in the first game back] because of the physical requirements of the game, but it was great to be back out there and you realize that sometimes you miss that feeling.
“At the back of the season, you wait for sometimes a break too, but you do miss it and i don’t think anyone will want to be in die situation again.”
Jones has been something of a precursor for female match officials, being the first to serve in a Super League match three years ago after appointment as an in-goal right for An match between Wigan Warriors and Wakefield Trinity in the DW Stadium.
She will also to be out referee the day before St. Helens face Castleford Tigers in the Women’s Super League semi-final, live on air sports this Sunday, although she has ambitions to progress up the ranks, her priority right now is her playing career.
Jones was one of eight saints players called in the English team for their long-awaited return to action in Mid season of June international with Wales, scoring a try in the 60-0 win in the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
She has her sights on next clash of the month with France in Perpignan too with to be part of of Craig Richard’s squad for the postponed Rugby League World Cup in England, which will now last place next year.
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“The Wales game was huge for us because we hadn’t been out as a team since 2019 when we went to Papua New Guinea so that was real good to get what we did in train in practice in An game environmentsaid Jones.
“Thereafter leading up until October we have the international game in France too die should to be exciting, building keep that momentum and keep it going leading to the World Cup.
“At this time in time, my playing career comes first. We are now 12 months out of the World Cup, but I’m really working hard in the direction of that – currently in the England squad – so that’s something I’m going to put first and above all, and my No. 1 goal is to do that.”
Bee club level it has been a success year so far too with Saint Helens on Class for a treble after beating York City Knights 34-6 to claim the Challenge Cup in June and securing the League Leader’s Shield last week after a 52-0 win over Wigan warriors.
The team could die celebrate cup win in addition to the men’s team in a joint bus parade met open roof through the city after Kristian Woolf’s side triumphed over Castleford at Wembley six weeks after the women’s success, and Jones, of course, is eager to claim Grand Final glory as well.
“Hopefully we can go on until win the treble,” Jones said. “That’s what we’re working towards and the journey isn’t over yet.
“With the men also be successful, we understand that support of the club and to die bus parade met open roof to do next to the men was real special and something we will never forget.
“All of the girls are very grateful for the club for their support, and the likes of [chief executive] Mike Rush and [chairman] Eamon McManus. We are all one club and the support we get is brilliant.”
Saints get Sunday semi-final double-header in Totally Wicked Stadium underway at 1.15pm followed by reigning champions Leeds Rhinoceros facing York at 3:30 p.m., with the winners advance to the grand final in Emerald Headingley on Friday October 8.
Jones wants St. Helens to move… on An show on their home patch while bidding to reach the grand final but believe the day will be huge for the competition as a whole too.
“It’s huge for us until play this double-header on home grass, Jones said. “It’s our ground, our stage and we hope to put on An performance for U.S home fans every time we play out there.
“But it’s huge for the Women’s Super League overall because it’s such a big event, we can start presenting our brand of the sport and it’s a huge two games.
“Hopefully there will be a decent crowd, and it can only be the… game bigger and better because we go out there to show what we can do with our brand of the sport.”
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