NRL all-star referee named for RLWC opener

NRL Grand final referee Matt Cecchin has been tasked with controlling Friday night’s blockbuster World Cup game between Australia and England in Melbourne.

He’ll work alongside Chris Butler and Chris Kendall for the RLWC opener.

Another significant appointment for the tournament is the selection of Belinda Sleeman, who’ll become the first female to officiate at a World Cup.


She’ll be the touch judge for Saturday’s game between Fiji and USA.

The NRL and Super League referees will have to get their heads around a new rulebook.

The tournament will be controlled by one referee, not two, and there will be an in-goal video referral system replacing the Bunker for checking contentious decisions.

There will also be no shot clock for scrums and goal line drop outs but common rules used in Super League and the NRL will be in operation, including a seventh tackle from the 20-metre re-start if the ball is kicked dead and a tap re-start from a 40:20 kick.

Golden point will only be used in finals matches.