RFL replace Maurice Watkins with Simon Johnson

The RFL has announced the appointment of Simon Johnson as a Non-Executive member of the sport’s independent Board of Directors.

Mr Johnson’s appointment was confirmed at the Rugby League Council AGM held at Langtree Park, St Helens today. He replaces Maurice Watkins CBE, who has stepped down from the Board after three four-year terms as an RFL director.

RFL Chairman Brian Barwick said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Simon to the Board.

“Simon’s wealth of experience in the sports and media industry, together will his widely acknowledged expertise in sports law and governance, will enable him to make a significant contribution to the ongoing welfare of the sport.”


Mr Johnson has previously held positions as Director of Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary at the Football Association, Director of Legal and Business Affairs at the FA Premier League and Director of Rights and Business Affairs at ITV.

He was Chief Operating Office of the bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup in England and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Amateur Swimming Association.

Simon Johnson said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the RFL Board at such an important and exciting time in Rugby League’s history.

“I’m privileged to have enjoyed a wonderful career in broadcasting and sports law and am looking forward to lending my considerable experience to the RFL and adding value to the sport.

“I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into the role and doing what I can to play my part in a new structure where every minute of every match in every competition will matter.”

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