Simpkins hangs up his NRL whistle

The NRL's refereeing ranks have copped another blow, with former grand final whistleblower Paul Simpkins announcing his retirement.

Just a day after fellow experienced referee Steve Clark called it quits, Simpkins hung up his whistle to pursue an opportunity with the NSW Police Force.

Simpkins leaves the game as its fourth most capped referee, having made his debut at Bruce Stadium in 1996.

"I have many great memories from my involvement in rugby league but I feel it is time for me to take on a new challenge," Simpkins said.

"I've been fortunate to achieve all that I wanted to in the game and that is something I will always look back on with pride."

In 12 seasons in the top grade Simpkins refereed 284 first grade matches, the 2006 NRL grand final, five State of Origins, four Tests and two City-Country matches.

Source: AAP