Matt Cecchin has returned to the NRL after Super League has postponed the introduction of two referees.
According to NRL.com, changes to the way referee control games have persuaded Cecchin to go back to the NRL ranks after visa complications and Super League’s decision to put their two-refereeing system on hold.
After Cecchin twice had his visa application to referee in Super League rejected by the UK government due to match officials not being classed as professional sportspeople, the RFL advertised a job as ‘Two-referee Technical Executive’ just for Cecchin.
The Australian had reportedly agreed a two-year deal with the RFL, with an option for another 12 months, but had his job taken away from him after Super League clubs decided to stall the two-referee idea.
RFL head of match officials Steve Ganson wanted Cecchin to oversee a trial system in reserve-grade this year before the potential introduction of two referees in Super League in 2020.
Cecchin told NRL.com: “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.
“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 will now go back to the NRL and could make his return in the opening round of the season.