Australian referee appointed as England outvoted in four-hour debate

An Australian referee has been appointed to take control of this Sunday’s clash between England and the Kangaroos after a four-hour debate between the match official directors of both countries and New Zealand.

Gerard Sutton, who refereed this season’s NRL Grand Final, was given the nod after the decision went to a vote.

New Zealand-born Henry Perenara seemed the logical choice to take charge, but he will instead officiate the Kiwis’ clash with Samoa on Saturday.

The RFL’s Jon Sharp said that the tournament is not based on neutral appointments and instead follows on from the philosophy set in the 2013 World Cup – going with the best man for the job.

“The appointment of Gerry Sutton was made following four hours of debate and it finally came down to being outvoted,” he said.