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Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein have been appointed the referees for Sunday's Telstra Premiership grand final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium.

The duo were announced as the whistle blowers on Tuesday morning at Rugby League Central.

For Sutton it will be the fourth time he has been a referee on grand final day after he was involved in the 2014, 2015 and 2017 deciders.

Klein has twice been a video review official on grand final night but this will be the first time he has been an on-field official.

Ashley Klein.
Ashley Klein. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Brett Suttor and Nick Beashel will be the touch judges with Steve Chiddy and Ben Galea will be in the video referees' box.

For Klein it's been a decade-long goal since he returned to the NRL after handling three Super League grand finals (2005, '07, '08) in the UK. He returned to the NRL after the 2008 World Cup matches were completed.

Sutton and Klein were the part of the officiating team that handled all three Holden State of Origin matches in 2018.

"There were three teams in State of Origin as the referees were also a team," Sutton said. "We worked together and worked well. Having those three matches has helped or communication and general understanding on the field."

After the announcement Sutton was asked about the increasing number of one-on-one strips seen in the NRL finals series.

"Certainly the rule change this year with two players being part of a tackle and then one dropping off and be able to strip the ball, has definitely resulted in more instances of one-on-one strips," Sutton said.

"Certainly at the back end of games when a team is behind ... like the Dragons-Rabbitohs [semi-final] game ... there were a couple of those late that were certainly influential in the end outcome."

 

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