Exclusive: Ben Thaler’s absence from early Super League games revealed and explained

Ben Thaler has earned himself a reputation as one of the leading referees in Super League.

He burst onto the scene with the whistle back in 2001 in the Championship, with Thaler then being promoted to a top flight referee in 2005.

Since then, the Yorkshireman has improved year on year, becoming a consistent figure in the RFL’s thinking in multiple seasons.

However, in the 2022 Super League season, Thaler has been in and out of the appointments list and was absent for the first half of the season, instead being listed as reserve referee as well as video referee and he is yet to be given a gig as the man in the middle in the top flight.

Having said that, the Normanton local refereed consistently in the Championship at the beginning, impressing with his communication and confidence which does beg the question as to why did it take so long for him to have been given a Super League game?

Serious About Rugby League recently contacted the RFL to ask just that, with a spokesperson stating: “He was in the mix with the other full time (and part time) officials.”

That means that Thaler was just not being selected, though it is curious as to why that was the case.

Since his appearance in Super League this season, Thaler has gone from strength to strength, underlining his reputation as one of the leading officials in the game.

And, Thaler will take charge of Leeds Rhinos’ home clash against Salford Red Devils on Sunday:

Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils
07th August, KO: 15:00
M Com: S. Williams
Referee: B. Thaler
Reserve Referee: J. Lincoln
Touch Judge 1: N. Bennett
Touch Judge 2: D. Arnold
In Goal: L. O’brien
In Goal 2: T. Gibbs
Time Keeper: P. Crashley

Thaler will also be video referee at Craven Park tonight for when Hull KR take on Toulouse Olympique.

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