Aussies embrace one-referee system at World Cup

Kangaroos backrower Matt Gillett has embraced a throw back to one referee for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, saying two on-field whistleblowers used in the NRL can be "indecisive".

 

And fellow Australian forward Josh McGuire has also supported the international referee format, predicting faster games than even the NRL finals.

Under international rules, the five-week World Cup will feature just one referee for each match with an in-goal video referral system to replace the contentious NRL bunker.

"I don't mind one referee," Gillett said.

"With two referees there can be two different opinions on the field and sometimes they are indecisive I suppose.

"They can make different decisions or have different opinions on how things go.

"But one referee is a lot better."

Matt Cecchin. Pic: Getty

RLWC head of officiating Tony Archer has admitted the in-goal video referral may mean contentious calls could take longer to resolve during Cup matches.

But Australian forward McGuire was confident Cup games would be even faster than what was witnessed during the NRL finals.

"I think the one referee will speed it up a little bit because a few things might get missed that might not in NRL level," he said.

"They should be fast games. Maybe even faster than some NRL finals - it should be interesting."

Under international rules, the World Cup will also feature seven tackles from a 20m re-start and a tap re-start from a 40-20.

NRL grand final referees Matt Cecchin and Gerard Sutton headline the 26-strong squad of officials hand picked by Archer for the World Cup.

The squad also features Belinda Sleeman who is set to become the first woman appointed to officiate in a World Cup match.

Sleeman and Kasey Badger this year became the first female officials to be involved in the NRL semi-finals.

The squad of referees and touch judges will be based in Brisbane for the World Cup.

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