Slater backs calls to return to one NRL referee to cut costs
Rugby league legend Billy Slater has backed calls for the league to go back to a single referee, as the league looks at ways to cut costs amid the coronavirus crisis.
The NRL could be forced to cut back on referees and possibly The Bunker as it aims to get through the toughest period in the game's history.
Watch Foxtel in an instant. Catch up and settle in with no installation & no lock-in contract. Sign up to all of Foxtel Now with a 10-day free trial. New customers only.
Speaking on Nine Radio, Slater admitted that it would be tough to see referees lose their jobs, but believes going back to one referee is the way forward for the game.
"I don't mind it. I like the one referee. I think the decisions are more consistent," Slater said.
"You only get one person's interpretation of the whole game and maybe even there's no video ref.
"Go back to the old days where you get some excitement in the game and we can talk about the bad decisions and all that kind of stuff.
"The flip-side to that is that some people are going to lose their jobs. We've got a lot of referees that have put a lot of time and effort into building a career in our game and we're going to be cutting some jobs there.
"I don't mind going back to one referee. Let's strip the game back and start fresh."
The classics are back! Vote for YOUR favourite throwback match below, and see it LIVE on Fox League 502.
However Slater warned that cutting back on coaching staff at clubs would result in a less professional game as a whole.
"I think it will get to that (one assistant coach and one physio per club)," Slater said.
"The financial crisis that we're all going to face, rugby league is certainly not going to be immune to that and there are going to be job losses. In job losses you're going to have less professionalism within the ranks.
"I think developing our players is essential and having less coaches will certainly effect that.
"It will be possible and we'll be able to get a product on the field, there's no doubt about that, but having less coaches and having less staff in and around football clubs will affect the professionalism of the game.
"I think it's inevitable that it's going to happen, but I don't think it's the best for the game."
Originally published as Slater backs calls to return to one NRL referee to cut costs