A piece of classic Kiwi cheek has put a rising Queenstown rugby league whistler on the NRL fast track.
Legendary Aussie referees’ boss Bill Harrigan has invited Sam Perkins (right) to Sydney later this year to train alongside top professional officials.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that could put the 25-year-old Queenstowner in the frame for a full-time career in the game. Crack NRL refs earn about $NZ200,000 a year.
Perkins’ big break came when he visited the NRL’s Aussie base last year – and he tapped Harrigan up for a job.
“Bill is a very imposing man and I suppose I was a bit cheeky when I asked him if there was any chance of me getting some work experience,” Perkins says.
“I was surprised when he said he’d heard good reports about me and even more surprised when he got in touch recently to ask me over for a week.”
Perkins, who has just started working as an accountant in Auckland, got his first taste of the big time last Saturday.
He was in charge of the Canterbury Bulls v West Coast curtain-raiser for the Warriors v Newcastle Knights match in Greymouth – a fundraising day for the Pike River mine tragedy that attracted 5500 fans.
“Officiating at a game at that level was some buzz and I now have my heart set on becoming a pro referee,” Perkins adds.
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