Posted: 26 October, 2012 by Triple M Sport

NRL Referee Co-Coaches Bill Harrigan And Stuart Raper Sacked

"We believe that a new structure is needed," says NRL boss. More here.

Tags: Bill Harrigan

The NRL have sacked refereeing co-coaches Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper.

Former Test referee Russell Smith will take over as Interim Manager of the NRL Referees Department and help Nathan McGuirk, who is the General Manager of Football Operations, finalise the 2013 squad.

“Bill has made an incredible contribution to refereeing in a career that will forever stand out in the game’s record books," said ARLC boss Shane Mattiske.

“He and Stuart have worked incredibly hard over the last two years in particular and there is a strong sense of gratitude on our part for their efforts, but we also believe that a new structure is needed.”

McGuirk saw this as a step forward:

“Bill and Stuart have been part of a dual coaching structure and it is time to move to a new model.

“Nobody could criticise their commitment but as we have reviewed the year from a number of perspectives it has become clear that we need one person to manage what is a high performance team.

“Bill and Stuart have increased the depth of talent in the squad and that has been one of the real positives over the last two years.

“I certainly wish to thank them for the contribution they have made.”

Earlier on Triple M

The ARLC has said it would stand by referee boss Bill Harrigan after a review into operations following the controversial Greg Inglis try.

"Bill and Stuart [Raper] have been the first to admit there are areas that can be improved and that will begin immediately, but we have full confidence in their ability to oversee the Match Officials squad moving forward and to implement those changes," ARLC General Manager Nathan McGuirk said.

McGuirk added both co-coaches Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper would continue to lead the squad with both admitting there are areas that need to improve.

"It's been important that we have gone through this review process in such an open manner and these changes will only help with the development of the squad," Harrigan said.

The review was sparked after the controversy surrounding the Greg Inglis in State of Origin game one which looked like he had knocked the ball on.

The furore was compounded after media reports referee boss Bill Harrigan told NSW players the try was not a try when leaving the stadium on May 23.

WATCH: Greg Inglis Origin Try

(Video: Channel 9)

Do you think Bill Harrigan should have removed from his post?

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Tags: Bill Harrigan

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