Referees bosses Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper could be in danger of being replaced by: Phil Rothfield From: The Daily Telegraph August 02, 2012 12:00AM NOT all great rugby league players make great coaches. The proof is in a long list of former legends including Wally Lewis, Tommy Raudonikis, Terry Lamb, Mick Cronin and Craig Young who all failed with the clipboard. Refereeing is the same. Bill Harrigan is generally regarded as the greatest referee of all time with 392 first grade games, 10 grand finals, 21 Origins and 25 Tests. But as a coach the performances of his "players" don't lie. The overall standard of refereeing this year has gone from bad to abysmal. And finally, the NRL is prepared to act. We can reveal the independent commission is to appoint a new national director of refereeing to oversee the entire structure from grassroots juniors to the NRL. The person will report straight to the CEO and be in charge of NRL referee coaches, oversee the weekly appointments and manage the structure of the refereeing ranks nationally at all levels. It's the first serious indication that Harrigan and Stuart Raper are in danger of losing their jobs. That decision will be made by the new director of refereeing when he is appointed after the grand final . The Daily Telegraph understands former referee Steve Clark and current referee Tony Archer, a former police prosecutor, have been mentioned for the new position. But the job will be advertised and could go to a senior figure outside of refereeing. Some of the most powerful and influential people in the game including Bob Fulton, Ricky Stuart and broadcaster Ray Hadley have been campaigning to get rid of Harrigan for months. On 2GB last weekend, Fulton launched an extraordinary attack on refereeing in the NRL. "The standard just isn't up to scratch - they are consistently poor," Fulton said. "The coaches have issues with decisions every week and I don't think any referee has improved under Harrigan. "John Grant and the commission need to take a long hard look at the management of referees. "If coaches don't perform with a club, they get moved on. Bill has got to take a bit of responsibility. Where does the buck stop. It stops with Bill Harrigan." The referees on the field and in the video box have been under massive pressure in club football and Origin since the start of the season. NSW lost this year's Origin series on the back of controversial tries to Greg Inglis (game one) and Justin Hodges (game three) Teams like the Cronulla Sharks are a real chance of missing the finals through poor refereeing more than their own ability. Incorrect decisions in the opening round against the Wests Tigers and last weekend against the Panthers have cost the Sharks four competition points. On both occasions referees were dropped after the games. Harrigan and Raper were the subject of an internal investigation by the NRL earlier in the season. It confirmed a split in the refereeing ranks over their support for the two coaches. Since the report was tabled, NRL management has recommended the appointment of the National director of refereeing.