Maxwell-Keys and Foley climb refereeing ladder

  • Maxwell-Keys and Foley climb refereeing ladder 
  • “These two have demonstrated they can perform under pressure” – Spreadbury

Craig Maxwell-Keys and Tom Foley have been appointed by the RFU as Trainee Full Time Referees for the 2014/15 season.

The pair join the Professional Game Match Officials Team (PGMOT) immediately and Tony Spreadbury, Head of PGMOT, says that they have the ability to develop further.

Both have gained promotion from Chris White’s Referee Academy, and become the second and third officials to do so since it was introduced four years ago.

Spreadbury said: “It’s great to welcome both Craig and Tom into the PGMOT, we have a strong pathway in place for referees – as Matthew Carley showcased last season – and we’re looking forward to seeing how these two progress.

“We see our referees more than ever before. We analyse games on a weekly basis and we ensure that there is a robust fitness programme in place too. These two have already demonstrated that they can perform under pressure at a high level and they are a welcome addition to our team.”

Maxwell-Keys, who hails from Cambridge, is a trained scientist and has combined working in pharmaceuticals with his burgeoning refereeing career after graduating from Leicester University.

He has big game experience under his belt already after holding the whistle for the 2014 Army v Navy game at Twickenham, and he made his Premiership bow at Kingston Park for Newcastle Falcons against Exeter Chiefs.

"These two have already demonstrated that they can perform under pressure"

Having toured South Africa with the England Under 18 squad last August and refereed South Africa v Wales, he also possesses international experience and was also in charge for this year's Under 20 Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy.

Foley is originally from South Wales and played rugby from a young age, but following a string of injuries took up refereeing to help support the Intramural Rugby programme while completing his degree at Bristol University.

He then helped form the country’s first Student Referee Society with the help of immediate past RFU President Bob Reeves. 

He joined the Bristol Referee Society in 2007 and progressed through the ranks, being promoted onto the South West Group in 2009 and National Panel in 2011.

He was invited to be a member of the National Referee Academy run by White in 2012, and his progress there has seen him rise to the PGMOT.