The National Rugby League (NRL) today acknowledged referee Ben Cummins who will create history tonight, becoming the first match official to officiate in 400 NRL matches.
The feat comes after Cummins became the most-capped referee in NRL history in May, when he surpassed Bill Harrigan’s 393 game record.
Cummins will referee his 400th game in the Wests Tigers-Warriors match tonight at Suncorp Stadium.
Cummins has refereed in 5 Grand Finals and 14 State of Origins throughout his career.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo congratulated Cummins for his remarkable feat and the leadership he has shown within the referees squad.
“On behalf of the game, I want to congratulate Ben for this remarkable achievement. For 16 seasons he has refereed at the highest level, including 5 Grand Finals, 14 State of Origins and now 400 games,’’ he said.
“What sets Ben apart is the respect he has among his colleagues. For the last three seasons he has been named the referees’ referee, that shows what a fine leader and ambassador he is for our game.
“Ben puts the game first and I’m delighted that he is the first referee to officiate in 400 games, it is thoroughly deserved. I know there are many young referees in the squad who will now aspire to reach 400 games because of the feats of Ben.”
NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley said Cummins’ feat was an extraordinary achievement by a referee.
“Ben’s achievement is the most extraordinary individual feat for our referees and officials – what stands out for me is that Ben himself is so incredibly selfless and humble, the ultimate team player,” he said.
“To be at the top of the game, both mentally and physically, for such a period of time, would have taken an astonishing level of commitment, dedication, as well as passion and talent.
NRL General Manager – Elite Officiating Jared Maxwell added: “Ben has shown incredible perseverance and resilience during his career.
“He refereed his first game in 2006 – that’s well over a decade at the elite level of the sport. In any sport, in any sense, that is an incredible achievement.
“To see him achieve what he has achieved, in the way he has achieved it, is quite remarkable.”