The year just keeps getting better for former Kiwi turned rugby league referee Henry Perenara.
The 31-year-old Aucklander now based in Sydney still hadn’t refereed an NRL game when the 2011 season started but on Saturday he’ll control the England v Australia Four Nations clash at Wembley Stadium, one of the world’s most famous sporting venues.
It wasn’t until July that he controlled his first NRL match between Canberra and the Sydney Roosters.
After a handful of NRL games, he was selected as New Zealand’s representative on the refereeing panel for the Four Nations, controlling his first full international when England faced Wales in Leigh last Saturday.
As a player, Perenara made his first-grade debut with the Vodafone Warriors in 2000 and later had stints with Melbourne, St George Illawarra, Parramatta and Cronulla. As Kiwi No 690 he played one Test against France in 2001.
On finishing his playing career Perenara immediately moved into the refereeing ranks and is now on the NRL’s panel of full-time officials.
Last night he was named the Match Official of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby League’s annual awards dinner in Auckland.