Ben Westwood and Lois Forsell added to the Man of Steel group

FORMER England second-row Ben Westwood and new Leeds Rhinos Women’s head coach Lois Forsell have been added to the Steve Prescott Man of Steel panel list for 2020.

Lois Forsell.

Westwood, 38, retired at the end of last season after starting out at hometown Wakefield Trinity, playing more than 400 games for Warrington Wolves and winning 26 caps.

Forsell becomes the first female panellist assessing games.

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One of the most decorated players in the women’s game, the former Leeds and England hooker was forced to quit playing last year due to a serious knee injury.

Elsewhere, leading referee Ben Thaler has been suspended by the Rugby Football League.

The 38-year-old took charge of Rhinos’ 30-4 defeat by Hull in Super League round one, but has not refereed since.

An RFL statement issued on Monday said: “Ben Thaler will not be considered for appointments pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

“The RFL will make no further comment until that investigation is complete.”

Thaler, from Wakefield, has been a Super League referee since 2005 and was in the middle for the 2015 Challenge Cup final and Super League title decider.

The RFL have given no indication as to the nature of their investigation.

Meanwhile, Catalans Dragons have dismissed allegations Castleford Tigers fans were banned from displaying rainbow flags at Saturday’s match in Perpignan.

The Super League club launched an investigation following complaints by visiting fans that they were ordered to take down their flags, which are a symbol of LGBT pride.

The flags were seen as a protest at the presence of controversial Australian Israel Folau – who was sacked by Rugby Australia for posting homophobic messages on social media last year – as he made his Catalans debut.

But the Dragons insist fans are welcome to display flags at their matches and say one fan was asked to take down a flag during Saturday’s game only because it was covering an advertising board.

The RFL is carrying out its own investigation and said it was too early yet to draw firm conclusions.