Plans to introduce a second referee in Super League have been put on hold after clubs decided against testing the idea in reserve matches.
High profile NRL official Matt Cecchin was expected to take up the RFL’s new role as Two Referee Technical Executive this month.
Referee’s boss Steve Ganson had wanted the 45-year-old to oversee a trial of the two-ref system in the new executive role, while also officiating in Super League.
However, a change in stance from Super League and visa complications mean Cecchin will stay in Australia and return to the NRL referee ranks.
“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 NRL.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.”
Cecchin had his visa application rejected twice by the UK Government as match officials aren’t classified as professional sportspeople.
He will return to Australia’s premier competition for the new season after NRL head of elite football operations Graham Annesley accepted Cecchin back with open arms.