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NRL Match Review boss calls time

Greg McCallum has resigned as chairman of the NRL's match review committee, effective at the end of the season.

His resignation, after 10 years in charge, leaves the league to begin a search for the right man to fill one of the most important – and most controversial – roles in the game.

McCallum said that after such a long time in charge he believed it was time for a change and that he now wished to seek another role in league administration.

He said he had already begun informal talks with the league's management on that possibility.

"After 10 years I think the time is right to step aside from the match review role," McCallum told NRL.com.

"As much as I've enjoyed it and it's given me great satisfaction and close contact with the game, a job like this comes with its challenges and I think that after a decade of being involved it's probably a good time to bid farewell.

"I'm happy with where we're at with the match review system. I think we've been able to implement the code without fear or favour.

"Obviously, it's a role where you're not always on good terms with the clubs, because you're suspending their players, but at the end of the day safety is our main charter and I think we've been able to clean the game up pretty substantially over the last 10 years.

"I'm particularly happy with what we've done in the area of getting rid of the grapple tackle, but most significantly the elimination, almost entirely, of dangerous throws.

"They've been the two areas which have given me the most satisfaction when it comes to working to make the game safe for everyone."

McCallum caught the NRL's management by surprise with his resignation, but he said the constant scrutiny and criticism from the outside that comes when you do a job where it is impossible to keep everyone happy wasn't a factor in his decision.

"Absolutely not," McCallum said. "The job has its moments like all jobs do where you're sitting in judgement. I can be clear that this is a decision I have taken on my own.

"I haven't been under any pressure whatsoever and when I let the league know I was stepping down they were very surprised that I'd chosen to do that this year."

McCallum said he had reached the stage in his life where, if he wanted to take on other challenges within the game, now was the time.

"I believe I've still got my best administrative and operational time ahead of me, so I would like to take that opportunity now," he said.

"I suppose, having watched every game for the last 10 years and 30 Origin matches and a couple of dozen Test matches, it has probably left me with a fairly good understanding of the game, where the game's at and what the game's going to throw up in the future.

"I'd like to think that now this door has closed, another one will open up and I'll have the opportunity of working in rugby league in the future.

"It could be possible that I'll remain working with the league. We've had some initial discussions on where that might be. I think the league understands my desire to stay in it.

"I'm passionate about the game and always have been, and I genuinely care about it. My involvement over the last 30 years, going back to refereeing, has allowed me to learn a lot, and that knowledge is something I want to use in a different area now."

There is speculation McCallum could be fitted into a role working closely with the clubs on behalf of the NRL.

Match review committee members Michael Buettner and Brad Clyde are expected to be among the contenders for the job vacated by McCallum.

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