Tuiaki forced into NRL retirement aged 28 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuiaki forced into NRL retirement aged 28

06/02/2011 03:25:57 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers winger Taniela Tuiaki has been forced into NRL retirement after failing to recover from a chronic ankle injury.

Tuiaki was hoping to return to action this season after missing the entire 2010 season due to a broken ankle suffered against Parramatta in round 24 of 2009.

However, despite three operations, Tuiaki's ankle has not responded enough to treatment and the 110kg flyer hangs up the boots at the age of just 28 after playing 78 matches for the Tigers and four Tests for New Zealand.

Tuiaki's powerful bursts made him a cult figure at the Tigers, and the injury struck in the same season he scored a club-record 21 tries and was named Dally M winger of the year.

"I am very disappointed to finish my career this way. This is a very sad day for me," said Tuiaki.

"When I first suffered the injury, I knew it was bad but I always believed I would return to the playing field for Wests Tigers.

"I've given it my best shot but all the medical advice now confirms that this is not possible.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers. The players are like brothers to me and I have plenty of great memories.

"Wests Tigers have been very good throughout these difficult times and I can't thank the coaching and medical staff enough for their support and treatment.

"I also would like to thank Wests Tigers fans for their support over the years. I hope I gave them plenty to cheer about. They have been very good to me."

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