Arrested referee to miss weekend games

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The Independent Online

The Rugby League has been spared a decision on whether Steve Ganson should referee this weekend by what it says is a pre-arranged holiday. Ganson was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning after an altercation outside a hotel in Haydock in which an 87-year-old woman was injured.

He spent the night in police custody, missed the Warrington-Catalans Challenge Cup semi-final, for which he was scheduled to be video referee, and was later released on bail until next month.

The game's leading referee was also involved in an incident in a taxi queue in St Helens a year ago, but was released without charge. It is understood that he would have been called upon to officiate at a Super League match this weekend, had he been available.

Wembley is heading for a sell-out, now Warrington and Leeds have reached the Challenge Cup final. The RFL said demand for tickets had been unprecedented since the opening of the new stadium.

Warrington could have a double boost for the final, with Mickey Higham and Chris Bridge both close to returning from injury. Higham's arm is out of a cast and he could be back for Sunday's match at Wakefield, while Bridge is recovering more quickly than anticipated from shoulder surgery.

Bridge was thought to be out for the remainder of the domestic season and the Four Nations with England, but could now figure in both.