Ganson on leave of absence from RFL due to ‘medical issue’: leaving officials department thin on numbers

The Rugby Football League are facing a shortage in their match officials department after its head, Steve Ganson, has taken a leave of absence due to a medical issue.

TotalRL learned last week how several Super League coaches had become frustrated with a lack of clarity from the match officials department, only to discover that their calls were falling on deaf ears due to fact that Ganson is currently away from his role.

Furthermore, Chris Campbell – who would operate as Ganson’s deputy – has left the RFL, TotalRL understands, meaning that there is nobody within the match officials department to deal with the issues coaches are raising at present. A statement from the RFL issued to TotalRL said: “Steve Ganson, the RFL’s Head Of Match Officials, is currently away from his duties due to a medical issue (not related to Covid-19). Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, has assumed responsibility in his absence.”

Ganson is well-respected both within the sport and among those at the RFL for the work he has done within the match officials department. One of the most recognisable officials of the Super League era, Ganson worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to ensure that when the Super League season resumed, his team of full-time referees would be in a position to return too.

So often a point of contact for coaches to discuss contentious refereeing decisions, Ganson’s absence has left a number of top-flight bosses confused as to who they can direct their issues to while he is on a leave of absence.

However, TotalRL understands that Ganson has not left the RFL, and will return to work in the near future.