Super League have indefinitely delayed the introduction of the two-referee model, according to the totalrl.com web site.
They say it had emerged overnight in Australia that clubs pulled the plug on the model earlier in the week, despite there being plans in place to see the system introduced in the reserve grade this year before being part of Super League in 2020.
Former NRL referee Matt Cecchin was in line to be brought over to oversee the transition with a job tailored for the 45-year-old advertised in order for the Australian to get a visa.
But now Cecchin is set to continue his association with the NRL rather than pursue a career in Super League.
“We felt that was just going to be a formality for me to get a visa but we didn’t know the Super League clubs would decide to change their stance on two refs,” Cecchin told totalrl.com
“I got a call this Monday night to say that Super League have cancelled the two-ref option for reserve grade this season and they are unsure when they will bring it in for the Super League so based on that there was no possible way of me getting a visa.”
“I’m sure that in my first game back in the NRL, half the people are going to think ‘why didn’t you retire’. That’s never going to change,” he said.
“I just want to keep doing this for as long as I am able to and love it, and for as long as the game will have me. If you had asked me 12 months ago I might have given a very different answer and that is how important mental health is.”