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State of Origin Referees 2020

(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The referees for the 2020 State of Origin series were the same for all three matches.

Gerard Sutton and his team of officials were retained for the entire series, with Chris Butler and Todd Smith the two touch judges. Game 3 was Sutton’s 19th consecutive Origin in charge.

Ashley Klein, who was the assistant referee in all three of last year’s games, was the standby ref.

The 2020 series maintained the one-referee system reintroduced in the NRL following COVID-necessitated budget cuts.

State of Origin Game 3 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Todd Smith
Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Standby Referee: Ashley Klein
Standby Touch Judge: David Munro

State of Origin Game 2 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Todd Smith
Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Standby Referee: Ashley Klein
Standby Touch Judge: David Munro

State of Origin Game 1 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Todd Smith
Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Standby Referee: Ashley Klein
Standby Touch Judge: David Munro

Previous State of Origin referees

2019
Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein were named to officiate all three matches of the 2019 series after they took care of all of 2018’s games. They had a controversial night in the final match, blowing 12 penalties in the first half before only awarded two in the second.

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The officiating group remained the same between Games 1 and 2, with the exception of Grant Atkins and Michael Wise taking over the standby positions. The exact same panel that took care of Game 2 was named for the decider, despite a poor week at club level for Sutton.

State of Origin Game 3 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Nick Beashel
Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Grant Atkins
Standby Touch Judge: Michael Wise

State of Origin Game 2 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Nick Beashel
Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Grant Atkins
Standby Touch Judge: Michael Wise

State of Origin Game 1 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Nick Beashel
Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Ben Cummins
Standby Touch Judge: Chris Sutton

2018
The State of Origin referees for Game 3 of the 2018 series were announced on July 3. Queensland won the match 18-12, but NSW were victorious across the length of the series having won the first two matches.

State of Origin Game 3 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Chris Butler, Brett Suttor
Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Ben Cummins
Standby Touch Judge: Nick Beashel

The line-up of officials for Game 3 was once again virtually the same – with the only change being Chris Butler taking Nick Beashel’s place as one of the touch judges.

Given the lack of any real refereeing controversies in Origin 2 – or with any of the Origin referees at club level – reaction to the officials line-up was relatively calm.

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State of Origin Game 2 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel, Brett Suttor
Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Ben Cummins
Standby Touch Judge: Chris Butler

An unchanged line-up of officials was selected for Game 2 after Game 1 took place without any enormous refereeing controversies.

Once again, the selection of Ashley Klein generated some conversation, especially given he’d made some contentious calls in the Tigers-Raiders game a week prior.

State of Origin Game 1 referees
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assistant Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel, Brett Suttor
Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Review Official: Ben Galea
Standby Referee: Ben Cummins
Standby Touch Judge: Chris Butler

There was plenty of controversy around the referees selected for Game 1. While there were no complaints about Gerard Sutton’s appointment, the omission of Matt Cecchin, widely considered one of the best whistleblowers in the game, raised plenty of eyebrows.

This was only exacerbated by the appointment of Ashley Klein, who was demoted earlier in the year for a crucial mistake in a match between the Broncos and Tigers.

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