The ARL Commission has confirmed the NRL will use one on-field referee for the remainder of the season.
The ARLC will also introduce six more tackles rather than a penalty stoppage for ruck infringements.
Referees will retain the right to issue a full penalty and place players in the sin bin for persistent ruck infringements and professional fouls. The move has been introduced in a bid to create more free flowing rugby league.
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said: “The decision shouldn’t been seen as taking one referee out it should be that we are using three full time experienced referees controlling the game which will ensure greater surveillance of the ruck and the wrestle.
“This decision will significantly reduce the number of stoppages in games and showcase more open unstructured play for the benefit of fans.
“These decisions address the issue of wrestling and slowing the ruck down which has been the biggest issue in the game.
“It’s clear the current system hasn’t effectively addressed the issue of wrestling in the game. Reverting to one referee together with the new six again rule gives us a chance to speed up the ruck and create more free flowing rugby league.
“Giving the attacking team six more tackles for a ruck infringement will be a significant deterrent to slowing the ruck.
“No team is going to want to defend multiple sets of tackles without a stoppage in play. This is the greatest disincentive for what has become habitual ruck infringements.”
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