Just when you thought Bill Murray would never again wake up to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe”, news has filtered through that former Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith is in line for the top referees job with the National Rugby League.
When the Roosters sacked Smith, they did not hesitate tossing him in the general waste bin. He was history and never coming back.
The NRL has seemingly tippy-toed over in the dark of night and gone through the Roosters trash. Now Smith is sitting pretty in the NRL’s recycling and on the verge of becoming yet another “non-referee” to lead the men in the pink.
Hasn’t past experiences with Peter Louis, Robert Finch and Stuart Raper taught them anything?
“I have spoken to a number of people and, again, each of those people have asked to be anonymous and I’m comfortable with that,” NRL operations director Nathan McGuirk told TheTelegraph.com.au.
“In the next fortnight hopefully we’ll have something in place,” McGuirk said.
“We will be talking to people who we think have the potential to add to the group out there.
“We’re looking to restructure the leadership group going forward which will bring fresh change, fresh perspectives, to our group next year.”
The appointment of Mick Potter at the Wests Tigers and Trent Robinson to the Roosters felt like everything was changing. New blood was finally filtering through.
But on the back of Matt Elliott’s resurfacing in New Zealand and Smith firming for the referees job, it seems rugby league is content to keep hiring the same guys over and over again.
“We don’t particularly believe that they have to have a refereeing background,” McGuirk added.
“A strong rugby league background is essential.”
Well thanks a lot, scoop. But what about the other factors that come into being the boss of the referees?
Surely someone like Tony Archer or Steve Clark have more of an understanding of what needs to be changed. Men without baggage or a link to any of the NRL clubs.
These men have lived the pressures and realise the simplicity of refereeing, not managing, a football game.
Lets stop hiring guys for the sake of hiring them.
Despite Smith and Elliott popping back up on our radars, thankfully a group of young men head into 2013 with high hopes.
Former players Matt Head, Mark Riddell, Dean Young, Ben Hornby and Matt Orford will all coach S.G. Ball sides next year.