Henry Perenara calls time on NRL officiating

Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Seasoned NRL referee Henry Perenara has confirmed his retirement from the game after blazing a trail by moving from playing to officiating.

A lock or second-rower, Perenara enjoyed a playing career with Cronulla, Melbourne, St George Illawarra and Parramatta, and won a single cap for New Zealand in 2001 before moving into refereeing in 2007.

One of the few players in the history of the game in Australia to successfully transition from player to whistle-blower, Perenara took charge of his debut first-grade game in 2011 and went on to oversee 214 matches at NRL and Test level.

Earlier this year he was forced to stand down from on-field officiating due to a heart condition and moved into the NRL's bunker.

The switch coincided with a blunder in his last game as an on-field official as he missed a crucial forward pass in the Warriors' win over Canberra in round 3 of 2021.

His move to video officiating was not without a hiccup, either, with Perenara failing to recommend a send-off for Latrell Mitchell in the Rabbitohs' fiery win over the Roosters in round 24.

Mitchell maimed former Roosters teammate Joey Manu, breaking his cheekbone and ruling the Kiwi international out of the rest of the 2021 campaign.

Perenara was stood down from the bunker and was not involved in officiating again in the 2021 finals series.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in footy," Perenara, who will take up a role as a mortgage advisor, wrote on social media.

"I have my life because of this great game and I will be forever grateful for that. I now look forward to enjoying it as a fan."

Meanwhile, a knee injury has brought an end to Javid Bowen's 45-game NRL career.

Bowen returned to the Cowboys set-up in 2021 after being left unsigned by the club in 2019.

But an ACL and MCL injury in last year's clash with the Roosters has forced him to hang up the boots.