Kiwi Williamson to ref Four Nations final

New Zealand referee Leon Williamson will take charge of Saturday’s Gillette Four Nations final between England and Australia at Elland Road.

The choice of official had proved controversial: England wanted Steve Ganson to referee, while Australia had preferred Australian Shayne Hayne.

The compromise was only agreed after three days of negotiation between the two camps.

Williamson, alongside French official Thierry Alibert, had already been rejected by the Australians for the game against England at Wigan.

However, his appointment is preferable to both Australia and England than having a referee from the opposing nation.

Alibert will be reserve referee and Phil Bentham of England the video referee; Hayne, following a request from Australia, will act as video referee observer.

Controversy over appointments has continued throughout the tournament, with Kangaroos boss Tim Sheens questioning the standard of officiating.

Sheens also referred to Williamson and Alibert as “amateur referees”. 

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