Former Super League referee Steve Ganson is the RFL's new head of match officials.
St Helens-born Ganson has spent the last three years as match officials coach and technical director, helping oversee the introduction of two new full-time match officials and increasing the number of referees in the community game, while assisting a number of revolutionary rule changes in the sport.
The 46-year-old made his senior debut as a referee when he took charge of a match between Barrow and Carlisle on August 27, 1995 and took charge of his first Super League match the following August as Castleford Tigers took on Paris St Germain.
He also officiated in the 2008 World Cup and in a number of major domestic finals, before retiring in April 2013 as the sport's most experienced official at club and international level.
Ganson said: “I’m really pleased to have been appointed the RFL’s new Head of Match Officials.
“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.”