SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: NRL Referees Manager Bernard Sutton speaks during the NRL Grand Final Official media opportunity at Rugby League Central on September 25, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Former NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton's affiliation with the Melbourne Storm has reportedly come to an end.

Sutton, a former first-grade referee who then went on to become the referees' boss for the sport, finished up as an NRL official at the end of the 2020 season, although his brother Gerard is still one of the best referees in the game.

Most clubs are believed to employ former referees within their system to provide insight on the rules of the game and intriciacies around referees, and the Storm were no different, bringing Bernard Sutton on in a consultant role during the 2021 season.

It's believed he had a significant role within Melbourne training sessions, however, with his brother still officiating - and handling multiple Melbourne Storm games last year - it had been reported previously that other clubs were unhappy with the arrangement and a potential conflict of interests.

There has never been any suggestion of the sort regarding brother Gerard's officiating, however The Daily Telegraph are reporting the Storm elected to end Bernard's time with the club, although it's believed the club were reluctant at best to do so.

The move comes from the Storm after Bernard was forced to step down from a similar role with the Queensland Maroons State of Origin team last year, with the NRL reportedly set to take it into account when appointing the referee for the Origin games.

While the QRL couldn't understand the move at the time by the NRL, it's understood the New South Wales camp were not on board with the idea of Gerard refereeing the game had Bernard still been involved with the Maroons.

Gerard went on to referee all three games of the series, which the Blues won 2-1.