Ashley Klein will referee his fourth straight State of Origin match after the NRL confirmed on Tuesday morning that he had been appointed as the lead official.

Klein, who is regularly regarded by the competition as the best referee in the game, refereed all of the State of Origin series, NRL grand final and Rugby League World Cup final last year.

Gerard Sutton, who has been named as the standby referee for the opening clash of the 2023 series in Adelaide, officiated the 2021 and 2020 series prior to Klein's promotion.

Klein will be joined for the 2023 series opener by Grant Atkins in the NRL bunker, and touch judges Drew Oultram and Phil Henderson.

Liam Kennedy is the standby touch judge for the Adelaide Oval clash, which will be played on May 31.

“Ashley has officiated well so far in the 2023 Premiership and has significant experience in big matches,” NRL General Manager – Elite Officiating Jared Maxwell said in a statement announcing the appointments.

“Ashley refereed all three State of Origin matches in 2022, and this match will be his 12th Origin. This will be the same on-field and Bunker team which officiated in the Grand Final last year, so they have all proven themselves at this level.

“I believe they will all contribute to an environment which will allow the players to produce a spectacle which State of Origin is known for.

“All officials should be congratulated on this achievement.”

All officials in Origin 1 are unlikely to feature in Round 12 of the premiership, with appointments to be announced today by the NRL.

It comes after controversy has surrounding the quality of officiating in the NRL in recent times, with plenty of questionable calls.

Match officials for State of Origin 1

Referee: Ashley Klein
Touch judges: Drew Oultram and Phil Henderson
Review official: Grant Atkins
Standby referee: Gerard Sutton
Standby touch judge: Liam Kennedy


  1. What’s the point of having a comment box if U’s Delete every comments that gets wrote..


    Yea I wrote about a bad ref , y r ref so protected, there the cause of all the controversy in the game.

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