Simpkins to referee decider

Sean Hampstead has been stripped of the State of Origin whistle for the third and deciding game in the series, to be played at Telstra Stadium next Wednesday night.

Paul Simpkins was today confirmed as the referee for the decider, with Hampstead relegated to the video referee?s box.

Hampstead?s performances were scrutinised extensively following the first two Origin matches, with Blues coach Phil Gould hinting he wanted a new whistle blower at a press conference immediately following the second game.

Not helping Hamstead was a poor and inconsistent performance last weekend in the match between Penrith and Parramatta at Penrith Stadium.

While this will be Simpkins? State of Origin debut, he has refereed two tests and a number of City-Country games, and is just two matches short of refereeing his 200th NRL game.