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Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Kiwi Williamson to referee final

FOUR NATIONS FINAL: England v Australia
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds Date: Sat, 14 November Kick-off: 1930 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online, plus text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles. Also live on Sky Sports 2.

England's Kevin Sinfield takes on the Australia defence
England face Australia in Saturday's Four Nations final

New Zealander Leon Williamson will referee Saturday's Four Nations final between England and Australia.

Williamson is a compromise choice after the two finalists failed to secure their first-choice officials.

England wanted St Helens referee Steve Ganson while the Kangaroos wanted Australian official Shayne Hayne.

The deadlock was broken after three days of talks when Rugby Football League match officials chief Stuart Cummings agreed to a neutral referee.

Williamson was in charge of England's opening game against France, and Australia's game against the French in Paris.

English official Phil Bentham will be the video referee, Thierry Alibert of France the reserve referee and Adam Burns of New Zealand the reserve touch judge.


Australia objected to both Hayne and the other neutral referee, Alibert, and earlier in the tournament lost out to England in the choice of official for the meeting between the two sides at Wigan.

Following a request by Australia, Hayne, who this week was named referee of the year by the International Federation, will as video referee observer at the final.

On Monday Australia coach Tim Sheens said: "Since we've played England under an English referee, I don't see why England should whinge or worry about us playing under an Australian referee."

English official Ganson was at the centre of controversy when, as video referee in last November's World Cup final, he awarded a penalty try to New Zealand as they shocked favourites Australia.

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see also
England eye revenge over Aussies
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
England 20-12 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
France 4-42 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
France 12-62 New Zealand
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 16-26 Australia
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-20 New Zealand
24 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 34-12 France
23 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Four Nations fixtures and results
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby League

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