Politis slams NRL's solo referee plans

Melissa Woods and Pamela Whaley
David Klemmer says from international experience playing with one referee will slow the ruck

Sydney Roosters supremo Nick Politis has slammed a proposal to return to one referee for the remainder of the season, joining several high-powered NRL figures opposed to the move.

Dropping from two referees to one was discussed at a meeting of NRL officials and high-profile coaches Trent Robinson and Michael Maguire on Monday, where opinion was split.

The proposal to revert to one referee is coupled with a rule change to scrap ruck penalties in favour of a repeat set to ease pressure on a solo whistleblower.

A number of NRL coaches have vocally opposed the move - which is set to save the NRL $2.5 million this year - and Politis is the latest to criticise the proposal.

"It changes the entire fabric of the game and the way it is played. A six again call is a huge rule change," he told Channel Nine on Monday night.

The powerful Roosters boss previously called for competition points from the first two rounds of the season to be scrapped when the game restarts on May 28, although the NRL has confirmed they will stand.

The ARL Commission will meet this week to discuss recommendations out of Monday's meeting where it's expected the new rule and referee reduction will be approved.

It's understood the majority of NRL coaches are opposed to significant rule changes with just 17 days until the competition restarts.

Des Hasler, Paul Green and Maguire have publicly voiced concerns over the move.

Chairman Peter V'landys told AAP on Sunday night that suggestions a rule change after two rounds could impact the integrity of the competition are alarmist.

"You can exaggerate everything trying to make your point but is it necessary?" he said.

"Don't exaggerate it like it's got the integrity of the game on it.

"What happens when the players go from NRL to international? They've only got one referee. Does that affect the integrity of the game? No."

On Monday Test prop David Klemmer said playing under one referee at international level has taught him that players target the ruck without another set of eyes keeping them in check.

With 19 appearances for the Kangaroos, the veteran Newcastle forward feels a proposal to have one NRL whistleblower in charge instead of two is a backwards step.

"For Test footy once you go back to one (referee) the main focus is on slowing the ruck down because you can do it with one ref - you test the limits there," Klemmer said.

"The reason we got two refs is that they couldn't see everything or control the game so everyone's calling for it to be back to one but the reason we've got two is because one didn't work."