Daniel Anderson says he expects to be under greater scrutiny in his new role as NRL referees’ boss than what he endured in his time as a first-grade coach.
A self-confessed rugby league lover, Anderson is under no illusions as to how tough his role as referees’ elite performance manager will be after a season punctuated by officiating blunders and one in which the two-time grand final coach said referees were ‘‘hammered’’.
‘‘I’m walking into this with my eyes wide open,’’ Anderson said on Wednesday after his position was officially announced at Rugby League Central in Sydney.
‘‘I’m looking forward to it. It is a challenging and very much high-profile position within the game. As a lover of rugby league, I have a chance to contribute to its evolution and to have an influence.’’
The former Warriors, St Helens and Parramatta mentor stressed that he was intent on improving communication between the refereeing ranks and NRL coaches, something that was heavily criticised under the reign of his predecessors Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper.
‘‘I’m not sure we are going to get rid of the grey areas at all, but consistency is massive,’’ Anderson said.
‘‘We will get some things wrong, but I would expect us not to make the same errors game-to-game.
‘‘I want to give the liaison (between coaches and referees) some balance. I would like to start talking to them (coaches) tomorrow.
‘‘(But) I know that call (from an irate coach) is going to come. I am prepared for that.
‘‘I will be under more scrutiny than in my time as a coach, but you probably don’t have that week-to-week pressure of a rugby league coach.
‘‘I’m hopeful of finding video referees that want to go to work because they got hammered last season.’’
The 45-year-old Anderson said the highly-controversial benefit-of-the-doubt rule, which brought so much drama in 2012, and the possibility of a coach’s or captain’s challenge — similar to those used in cricket and tennis — would be among the first things he would be looking at.
As expected, 2012 grand final referee Tony Archer has stepped down from his on-field duties to take up a position as one of two full-time referees’ coaches under Anderson, alongside former international whistleblower Russell Smith.
Interim ARL Commission chief executive Shane Mattiske said the ‘‘significant’’ changes had been made as part of the game’s new strategic plan.
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