NRL: Sacked Harrigan calls for rulebook review

Dumped referees boss Bill Harrigan has called for an urgent review of rugby league's rulebook, adding no former club coaches should be considered as his and Stuart Raper's successor as referees coach.

After being sacked from his post by the ARL Commission on Friday following a season punctuated by officiating blunders, Harrigan claimed the NRL rulebook had not kept pace with changes in the game.

"The rule book has to be looked at," the former grand final referee told Triple M's Dead Set Legends today.

"The rule book doesn't suit the modern game, it has to be overhauled at some stage."

Harrigan suggested the controversial 'benefit of the doubt' rule for tries needed to be scrapped.

And he revealed he told his video referees to ignore the rule for the last three games of the NRL season following the outcry over Kieran Foran's no 'knock on' call in North Queensland's contentious semi-final loss to Manly.

Sacked NRL coaches Tim Sheens and Brian Smith have been mentioned as possible candidates to take over from Harrigan and Stuart as the new new NRL referees' elite performance manager.

But Harrigan declared ex-team coaches did not suit the role, citing former refereeing bosses Peter Louis and Robert Finch as examples.

"You need to have a referee in charge there because he understands the game from a referees point of view, he has the empathy of the game from a referees point of view, and he understands it and that is what needs to happen," Harrigan said.

"No matter who they put in, and it's up to them, it's their call, make sure it is a referee."

Despite a State of Origin series and NRL finals marred by dubious refereeing decisions, Harrigan said he had left refereeing in a good position.

"Rugby league, as far as refereeing goes is in a very healthy state," he said.

"There are some really good young blokes coming through. It's going to be healthy for a number of years."

-AAP

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