It’s a game-changer for those wishing to tread the officiating pathway, with the National Rugby League forming a partnership with the Country Universities Centre.
The merger is designed to keep aspiring officials in regional communities, and gain the required qualifications without leaving home.
“What it’s about is giving everyone an equal opportunity to have the chance to go to the NRL.”
Only upon being offered a full-time contract do officials now need to relocate in a move designed to further strengthen refereeing at the grassroots level.
“Shayne Hayne coming out of Muswellbrook, Gerard Sutton came out of Coonabarabran, Ben Cummins came from Canberra, they’re the grand final referees in recent years and they’ve come out of that, their pathway was much more difficult.”