The RFL have confirmed that former Super League match official Steve Ganson has been appointed as the governing body’s new head of match officials.
The 46-year-old refereed his first senior and first Super League games in 1995.
The occasionally controversial figure is delighted to be taking on a new role, and is looking forward to helping to develop greater refereeing depth in the sport.
“I’m really pleased to have been appointed the RFL’s new head of match officials,” he said.
“I have been involved with refereeing at the highest level for 20 years and taken charge of games on the biggest world stages. I understand refereeing and the increasing demands placed on our referees.
“It’s a critical area in the sport.
“There are changes we will introduce in the way we prepare, coach, assess and appoint our referees.
“Our coaching structure has been reviewed to assist in developing our referees and I want to accelerate the development of Championship and reserve grade referees so we have a stronger talent pool to select from at the highest levels.
“I fully intend to give the referees the support and the framework they need. It’s the small margins at elite level that make a real difference.”
The RFL’s chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer is pleased with Ganson’s appointment.
“Following an open and extensive recruitment process, which attracted an international field of applicants, we are delighted to announce that Steve Ganson has been confirmed as the new head of match officials,” he said.
“This is in addition to recent announcements of increased levels of investment into the match officials structure, which has enabled the expansion of the number of full-time match officials from seven to nine, greater levels of off-field coaching and assessment, plus the introduction of increased sports science.
“A great deal of work over recent months has also gone into the Match Officials Pathway within the development pyramid and, following that work, Super League match official Ben Thaler will be heading up a focused recruitment campaign which is now being rolled out by the team.
“The appointment of the head of match officials is an important milestone within the significant journey that the match officials structure has recently undergone. As would be expected, the position attracted interest from all over the globe.
“The process was thorough and Steve’s appointment is well deserved.
“He brings outstanding skills and huge experience to the role but, more than that, it was his ideas and enthusiasm that shone out and eventually secured the position at this very exciting time.”