Simon Johnson has been appointed as chairman of the Rugby Football League, replacing Brian Barwick in the role.

Johnson has been interim chair since April and was previously the governing body’s senior independent director.

Before joining the RFL board in 2014, he held roles with the Premier League, Football Association and ITV.

“The board will be forward-thinking and will aim to be open and transparent, to promote a compelling narrative about rugby league,” Johnson said.

Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE and Sandy Lindsay MBE have been named as non-executive directors, with the appointments made after an independent board evaluation recommended an expansion of the board to be “fit for the future”.

Former Football Association chief executive Barwick, who was previously head of sport at the BBC and ITV, served two three-year terms as RFL chair and left to become president of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.