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The National Rugby League (NRL) has today announced that General Manager Elite Officiating Bernard Sutton will step down from his role after the Ampol State of Origin series.

Mr Sutton said he had enjoyed his time in the role but decided that, after three years, the time was right to move on.

“I will be leaving officiating in as good a position as it’s been in recent years, which I am proud of,” Mr Sutton said.

“I’ve been doing the job for three years now and it is a positive time to move on from the role and to pursue other opportunities.

“Clearly the rule changes introduced this year have had a positive impact on officiating and I’m sure whoever takes on the role next will have a strong foundation to build on.

“The job can obviously be a challenging one but I have enjoyed my time coaching and leading the officials and look forward to seeing how the group progresses.”

NRL Head of Football Elite Competitions Graham Annesley thanked Sutton for his tireless commitment to the role and to the NRL’s elite officiating.

“Bernie was in the role when I arrived at the NRL, and since then he’s been nothing but supportive and professional,” Mr Annesley said.

“This year has been a difficult and challenging one for everyone in the game, but the officials have performed extremely well under the circumstances.

“Bernie can feel well satisfied with the job he has done in a very challenging environment, and we are keen to retain his leadership and knowledge in the business.

“We will continue to talk to Bernie about other opportunities in the NRL.”

Mr Annesley said a replacement will be finalised prior to the start of the 2021 season.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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