Game against NRL champions Sydney to feature two on-field officials.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane is not happy at the Sydney Roosters’ insistence on having two referees for Saturday’s World Club Challenge, claiming it’s a major disadvantage for the Super League champions.
Australia’s National Rugby League has operated with two on-field officials since 2009, but the system is not used in the Super League and has not been adopted by the Rugby League International Federation.
Wane said he fought hard for one referee, but the NRL premiership champions wanted local rules to apply as they have when the game has been played in England.
“We’re not used to it, and I am not happy about it,” Wane said Friday.
“It’s an advantage to them and a disadvantage to us,” he said, but added: “We’ve been practising in training and I am sure the players will be fine with it on the day.”
Despite his reservations, Wane said he would back the two-ref system for the Super League.
“I think it is a great idea, but I am just a bit upset about it being used in this game as my players have never experienced it before.
“To bring it in now for this game when it’s not in the international rules is a bit harsh.
“But I think it would be a fantastic idea for us in the Super League as it would make referees more consistent and that is one thing we don’t have in our country.”
Despite the upset, Wane said his players were focused on repeating the club’s shock 20-14 win over Brisbane in 1994 — the last time the world challenge took place in Australia.
The Roosters start as favourites with home advantage at Sydney’s Allianz stadium.
Melbourne Storm beat Leeds to lift the cup last year.