Matt Gillett announces retirement from rugby league
Thu 31 Oct 2019, 11:01 AM
retirement from rugby league, effective immediately.
Gillett suffered a severe shoulder injury during a match late in the 2019 season which resulted in the father-of-two being advised by medical experts to retire from contact sport. He has been told that surgery is not an option at this time and that he would be at significant risk of a further disabling injury and long term consequences if he attempts to continue playing.
A gutted Gillett has accepted the medical advice which brings to an end his stellar career that included 200 NRL games for the Broncos, 20 Origin appearances for Queensland and 12 Tests for the Kangaroos.
The former Bribie Island Warrigal was also crowned Dally M Second Rower Of The Year in 2016 and 2017, and Dally M Rookie Of The Year in 2010 after making his debut for the Broncos in Round 1 of that year against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Renowned for his toughness and work ethic, Gillett fought back from a fractured neck that kept him out for much of 2018 to start the 2019 season for the Broncos and won back his place in the Queensland team for the first two Origin games, before groin and lower back complaints interrupted his year.
The 31-year-old worked his way back onto the field before the shoulder injury struck in the dying minutes of the final home game of the year against South Sydney – the extent of this injury was revealed in post-season scans.
Gillett said: “This has been a huge shock to me and my family, and we have taken time over recent weeks to consider what we should do. I have decided to take the medical advice from the experts and call time on my career.
It is a really hard decision but at the end of the day my family are what’s most important.
“I have plenty to be thankful for – I have been part of a great club here at the Broncos for my whole career. I’ve played for my state and for my country with some legends of the game.
View this post on Instagram
Can’t beat moments like this in rugby league Huge effort to get that win. So proud to be back in this jersey. To our fans you guys were hectic#qlder #xxxx #173 #family
A post shared by Matt Gillett (@mattgillett12) on Jun 6, 2019 at 5:45pm PDT
“While today is really hard, I know that I can look back over my career and be thankful for what I’ve been able to achieve and the friends I have made over the journey. I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches, family and friends for all their help and support over the years.”
Broncos Coach Anthony Seibold paid tribute to Gillett’s outstanding career.
Matt has been an outstanding representative for the Broncos, Queensland and Australia and a great ambassador for the game of rugby league.
Broncos Head Coach
“He is humble and hard-working and has reached the top of the game for Australia all the way from his beginnings at Bribie island.
View this post on Instagram
My 2 biggest supporters . Thank you to our @brisbanebroncos members and fans for helping us get that tough win last night@suncorpstadium #family #bronxnation #ontothenext
A post shared by Matt Gillett (@mattgillett12) on May 17, 2019 at 6:21pm PDT
“His achievements on the field are well known but we are most proud of him for how he conducts himself off the field, and how highly he values his family and friends.”
Gillett will remain at the Broncos in an off-field capacity.