Wesser announces NRL retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wesser announces NRL retirement

12/08/2011 03:48:45 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney fullback Rhys Wesser has added his name to the long list of NRL stars who will retire at the end of the season.

The veteran of 14 seasons in the top grade has played 218 matches, including 177 for Penrith who he won a premiership with in 2003.

At his prime Wesser was one of the best fullbacks in the game, and played four State of Origin matches for Queensland in 2004 and 2006.

Wesser joins the likes of Darren Lockyer, Mark Gasnier, Andrew Ryan, Preston Campbell and Adam MacDougall in hanging up the boots at the end of 2011.

During the Panthers' golden period in the early 2000s, Wesser was a lethal attacking weapon and holds the try-scoring record at Penrith with 113 - and has amassed a whopping 129 tries for his career.

Wesser was selected as fullback in the Panthers Team of Legends announced in 2006, named alongside players such as Brad Fittler, Greg Alexander, Royce Simmons, John Cartwright and Mark Geyer.

Wesser said he's looking forward to starting the next chapter of his life.

"Season's end is the right time to hang up the boots and look towards the next phase of my life," Wesser said.

"I've enjoyed every minute of my career and I've been lucky enough to play for my state and to have had the feeling of winning a premiership.

"I've been lucky enough to play with some wonderful players over the past 14 years and I've met a lot of great people, some of whom will be friends for life.

"I still have this season to finish off and I will give my all for the Rabbitohs on the field over these remaining games, and then I can focus on life after football."

Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson, who also worked with Wesser at the Panthers, paid tribute to the 32-year-old.

"Rhys is one of the game's greatest role models off the field, and one of the game's most electrifying players on the field, and he has been this for many seasons," said Richardson.

Souths coach John Lang, who in addition to coaching Wesser at South Sydney for two years had five years coaching him at Penrith, said Wesser's ability to score tries was his trademark.

"Rhys made his name as a brilliant try scoring player," Lang said.

"He always had that ability to find the line, and now he has matured into a hardened professional as well. He's done a really professional job for us at Souths and he's still scoring tries.

"It's been a pleasure to coach him for seven of his 14 seasons at NRL level and I wish him the best of luck in the future."

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