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Surge in COVID cases influences refereeing decision

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The NRL has reportedly flown out officials for State of Origin Game II on Sunday 27 June early, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

Gerard Sutton – head referee – and touch judges Todd Smith and Phil Henderson were allegedly flown into Brisbane to avoid any potential border closures that the Queensland Government could put into place following a recent COVID outbreak.

“The first Origin game was officiated extremely well so it stands to reason we maintain that consistency and experience into the second game,” NRL referees boss Jared Maxwell said.

The decision to fly the officials in early also follows the ruling that all NRL players in the Greater Sydney area will be re-entering level three COVID restrictions.

That means that they will not be allowed to catch public transport or attend crowded venues like cafes and shopping centres.

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