Former Canberra Raider playmaker exposed as NRL Grand Final pitch intruder with ‘disastrous’ message

Former Canberra playmaker Mark McLinden has been identified as the man who trespassed on the field and was arrested at Sunday’s NRL grand final.

A 165-game veteran with the Raiders, McLinden played in five finals series for Canberra but never featured in a major game. Until Sunday.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Pitch Invader takes down during the NRL Grand Final.

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McLinden entered the field with Parramatta attacking at the opposite end of Accor Stadium, removing the padding from one of the goalposts.

He managed to evade security and pictures show he had a bicycle lock around his neck as he worked on the post, but was eventually captured by three security guards and taken off the field.

Mark McLinden during his playing days and on site during the 2022 NRL Grand Final. Recognition: Getty Images/Screenshot

McLinden wore a T-shirt that read “End Coal Gas and Oil”.

Play continued during the incident as ground crew quickly managed to reattach the padding before the action returned to that end of the field.

Keen-eyed social media users recognized McLinden in photos Tuesday morning, before confirming he was the man in question.

“A 43-year-old man from Mullumbimby has been arrested after allegedly stepping onto the south end of the pitch and pulling one of the pads off the goalpost,” said a NSW Police spokesman.

“He was removed from the field by security before he was arrested by police.

“He was issued with an administrative offense notice for entering a competitive field.”

McLinden had earlier on Tuesday protested against the use of coal, gas and oil on social media, citing claims that are “causing catastrophic ecosystem losses and climate change”.

In the run-up to the 2022 federal election, he also released a song urging people to vote for candidates, which he dubbed “climate champions.”

The celebrations continue as the Panthers win the NRL Grand Finals.

The celebrations continue as the Panthers win the NRL Grand Finals.

https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/former-canberra-raider-playmaker-unmasked-as-nrl-grand-final-pitch-invader-with-a-catastrophic-message-c-8443135 Former Canberra Raider playmaker exposed as NRL Grand Final pitch intruder with ‘disastrous’ message

James Brien

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