NRL to go to THREE referees?

After the two referee system – used in Australia for a number of years – has been trialled in England over recent months, the NRL are now considering the bizarre prospect of introducing a THIRD on-field referee to their matches.

The game is currently undergoing a host of changes Down Under, and the NRL have suggested the prospect of a third referee joining the two currently used for matches.

The governing body has engaged former Australian cricket coach John Buchanan and league Immortal Bob Fulton to oversee a full review of the refereeing ranks. And NRL head of football Todd Greenberg admitted to Australian media that the prospect of increasing referee numbers has been suggested.

“When I say we’ll look at the two-referee model, we could look at three referees,” Greenberg said. “The game is so fast that there are more decisions; two referees are under significant fatigue as it is. We look at the model and see how we can improve the model.

“I’m not suggesting we throw two referees out at all. There are other ways we could potentially make it better.”

Part of their unique study will also be aimed at trialling a video referee bunker by the middle of next season to improve the consistency of decision making. That idea involves having a “command center” in action during the game, meaning disciplinary committee being able to issue charges to players in real time – leading to the potential for coaches to have charge sheets in front of them during press conferences.