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English ref for Kiwis' Four Nations opener

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/10/2016

The Kiwis will have English referee in charge of their opening Four Nations match against England.

Robert Hicks, who oversaw Super League's Grand Final, will control the clash at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

With neutral referees a thing of the past, the officials for the first two rounds were graded according to rankings, with Hicks and Australian Ben Cummins topping the list and, as the more experienced international referee, Cummins has been given the highest ranked game between New Zealand and Australia in Coventry a week on Saturday.

Organisers say appointments for the third round and the final will be awarded on merit, based on the performances of the referees in the first two rounds.

Tournament director Jon Dutton said: "The decision to award matches based on merit rather than country neutrality is a progressive move by all concerned and shows the confidence we have in officials and the focus on recognising and rewarding good performance."

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