Ganson to referee his home club in Cup final

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The Independent Online

Steve Ganson will become the first man to referee his home-town club in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley in 10 days' time.

Ganson will officiate when St Helens, the side he grew up following, face Hull in the showpiece – something that has only become possible this season through a change of rules.

Previously, referees never took charge of their local sides in any match, because it was felt that it might put extra pressure on them.

Ganson has refereed and acted as video referee for Saints this season and his boss at the Rugby League, Stuart Cummins, insisted that he was the right man for the final. "Steve is our most experienced match official, both internationally and domestically, and has been referee of the year twice during his career," he said. "All appointments are based solely on form and, in the same way that a coach picks his best line-up for a final, Steve Ganson is the right man for the job."

The video referee will be Ashley Klein, re-uniting the combination responsible for the biggest controversy since officials went full-time, the match-winning 'try' in the Leeds-Bradford fixture in Cardiff last year.

Saints' coach, Daniel Anderson, has hinted that neither Maurie Fa'asavalu nor Nick Fozzard will play in the final. Fa'asavalu is recovering from a hamstring strain, while Fozzard is not thought to have played enough on his return from a knee injury.

Scott Moore has played his last game for Castleford after being suspended for the remaining two matches of the season for striking with the forearm. Moore, on loan from Saints, is to move to Huddersfield on a similar arrangement next season.

Wigan's Richie Mathers has escaped suspension after being sent off for striking. The Catalans' Jamal Fakir has been suspended for one game, also for striking.

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