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Former South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire.

The NRL is set to announce the appointment of former South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire as part of a new officiating structure for the 2018 Telstra Premiership.

It is understood Maguire will work with the NRL referees in a performance capacity, which will include devising and implementing training programs for match officials.

Maguire has enjoyed a long and successful coaching career, guiding Wigan to the 2010 Super League premiership and the Rabbitohs to their first grand final victory for 43 years in 2014, before parting ways with the club at the end of last season.

While Maguire’s new position will involve some coaching of referees, that will not be the main focus of his role.

NRL manager of command centre officiating Bernard Sutton is set to assume the day-to-day-running of the referees group and the NRL Bunker.

Tony Archer's role in the NRL refereeing ranks is set to change.
Tony Archer's role in the NRL refereeing ranks is set to change. ©NRL Photos

He will work in collaboration with Maguire, with full details of the restructure expected to be confirmed in coming days.

After four years as NRL general manager of officiating, Tony Archer is understood to be taking on a role focusing on the national program.

Archer, who controlled 319 NRL matches, 13 State of Origins and nine Tests during a distinguished refereeing career, was the head of officiating at the recent Rugby League World Cup.

An NRL spokesperson said no decisions about the new roles had been finalised. 

“There are discussions around the structure of the officiating department taking place but nothing is confirmed as yet,” the spokesperson said.

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