Weekend of Milestones for Penrith Duo
Just one week after Penrith member Lawrence McDonell made his debut in the National Rugby League, two of our Association's finest will celebrate significant milestones in their top grade careers during Round 5 of the competition.
On Friday night, Grant Atkins will take the field for his 100th first grade game as a touch judge when South Sydney play the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. Grant, who has also officiated in a further 34 first grade games in the middle, made his NRL debut as a touch judge in Round 7 of the 2009 season in the match between the Raiders and Bulldogs. His NRL number is 103. Since that time his impressive career has continued to go from strength to strength, already racking up 10 test matches and a State of Origin appearance.
On Saturday, Rickey McFarlane will appear in his 150th first grade game as a touch judge in the clash between Newcastle and St George-Illawarra at Hunter Stadium. Rickey made his NRL debut in Round 26 of the 2008 season in the match between Parramatta and the New Zealand Warriors. His NRL number is 100. Since that time he has appeared regularly in NRL fixtures and has also appeared in representative football, officiating in the 2010 Four Nations as a touch judge, 2012 State of Origin as a standby official and the 2013 City v Country game as a touch judge. Rickey was also the standby official for the 2011 NRL Grand Final.
Both Grant and Rickey were graduates of the Penrith District Rugby League Referee's Association Development Squad Program and both officiated as referees in A Grade Divsion One Grand Finals in the Penrith District.
Earlier in the season fellow Penrith member Dave Ryan reached 50 NRL games as a touch judge in the match between Penrith and the Gold Coast in Bathurst adding to the continually growing list of accomplishments by members from the Penrith District.
Our Association is incredibly proud of these members and their achievements and wish them all the best for this weekend and into the future as they continue to reach new heights.