SADDLEWORTH rugby league referee Robert Hicks has notched a hat-trick after being placed in charge of Sunday’s World Club challenge.
The official, whose father Ray used to own the Three Crowns pub on Huddersfield Road at Scouthead, will have the whistle for the clash between Super League champions Wigan Warriors and NRL premiers Sydney Roosters.
That follows on the back of him being at Wembley last year for the Challenge Cup Final and Old Trafford just two months later for the Grand Final.
He also refereed in Australia at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, taking charge of Australia v France before being video referee for Italy v USA.
Robert has also been in charge of internationals between England and Australia at the Olympic Stadium, London and England v New Zealand at Huddersfield during the Four Nations Tournament.
He has also refereed the Pacific Test series match between Papua New Guinea and Fiji and been touch judge for Australia and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand.
Robert, who grew up watching Saddleworth Rangers with his grandfather Ken Fisher, faced competition from fellow officials Ben Thaler and Chris Kendall for the honour.
But he has won the competition to be the man in the middle when the best of England and Australia collide at the DW Stadium in Wigan on Sunday night, kick-off 7pm.
Wigan say more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the event as the Warriors aim to be named the best team in the world for a record fifth time.