Great bunch of retiring players

I know alot of good players go everywhere, but this year it seems there is a lot of champions, particularly off the field champions

Locky- Enough said about him, obviously a legend

Presto-On the field pretty good, won a Dally M, loved the way he played making it through a dozen or so years at 68kg, incredible, but what he has done off the field is super, the role model, particularly for the young aboriginals, and the all star game which was his brain child is an awesome concept, he has been great for the game

Alan Tongue- He is all heart, always loved, Alan Tongue, is there a better example of making the most of your ability. One of my mated played a littel bit of first grade with canberra in the early 2000’s, he claims he has never met anyone who works harder, he certainly looks that way

Todd Payten- He has been awesome for us, great leader, such a smart footballer, huge Payten fan

Andrew Ryan- Another awesome seasoned pro who has just been so consistent for so long,

Gasnier-what a great player, never liked him, but no doubts on his ability

Trent Waterhouse-I know he is not retiring, but he is out of the NRL, very good for the panthers,

im sure there is more, it just struck me, we had a good bunch leaving the game this year, im sure they will be replaced by other blokes who will go to be champions

Yes you would of liked all of those guys in their primes in your side
Bloody good side

Brad Meyers
Paul Whatuira
Rhys Wesser
Adam MacDougall
Carl Webb
all retiring, they all either played State of Origin or for their country

A hell of a lot of experience and talent leaving the game…I guess the good thing is most are retiring and not slipping over seas.

Great post - and yes, some real stalwarts leaving the game. Let’s hope some of the younger brood can follow their class, on and off the field.

An NRL retiring team of the year

At the end of a massive season of NRL retirements, we’ve named a star-studded 17 of league greats who will hang up the boots after 2011.

Kangaroos, Queensland and Brisbane skipper and Immortal-to-be Darren Lockyer is the biggest name to depart the scene, but there are plenty of other stars who will follow suit.

So to pay tribute to the old boys of the NRL, we’ve picked a Dad’s Army team to take on all comers. While for many their best days are behind them, this squad is packed with premiership winners, former Origin stars, club heroes and a few colourful personalities.

BigPond Sport’s 2011 Retiring Team of the Year

1. Rhys Wesser (Panthers, Rabbitohs) – A brilliant, elusive ball-runner at his peak, Wesser won a premiership with Penrith in 2003 and broke the club’s season try-scoring record twice. Has scored more than 120 tries in his career.

2. Adam MacDougall (Roosters, Knights, Rabbitohs) – Incredibly hard to stop at his best, and a one-time rival at club and Origin level of Queensland great Wendell Sailor, the ‘Mad Dog’ will finish his career atop the Knights’ all-time try-scorers list.

3. Mark Gasnier (Dragons) – A superstar at NRL level with the Dragons and a long-time fixture for NSW Origin, Gasnier is the complete centre – winning a premiership in his first season back in league after a stint in French rugby.

4. Mat Rogers (Sharks, Titans) – A dual international who represented Australia in both league and rugby union. Was Australia’s top point-scorer in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup and, seven years later, was the Gold Coast Titans’ equal top try-scorer in his first year back in the NRL.

5. Chris Walker (Broncos, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Storm, Titans, Eels) – An NRL speedster with a bad boy reputation, Walker has played for six different clubs and scored plenty of tries along the way. Known more for his finishing than his defending, finding the tryline four times in six games for Queensland.

6. Darren Lockyer © (Broncos) – He’s scored more tries for Australia and played more Origin matches than any other player, won multiple premierships with the Broncos and led Queensland to six straight Origin series wins. Also made a mid-career transition from being the world’s best fullback to become the world’s best five-eighth. In other words, a pretty handy player.

7. Preston Campbell (Chargers, Sharks, Panthers, Titans) – One of the game’s most popular players, Campbell is proof that little guys can still do it all in rugby league. Beat Andrew Johns to the Dally M Medal in 2001, won a premiership in his debut season with the Panthers in 2003, was first player signed by the Gold Coast Titans and was the driving force behind the conception of the annual NRL All Stars game.

8. Luke Stuart (Sharks, Rabbitohs) – A fan favourite at Souths and one of the club’s most consistent players, Stuart was finally rewarded at City-Country level in 2009 when he became the oldest NRL player to make his representative debut. Will hang up the boots after 14 years in the top grade.

9. Mark Riddell (Dragons, Eels, Warriors, Roosters) – One of the game’s biggest characters, Riddell may well be best remembered for arguably the greatest try celebration in rugby league history.

10. Todd Payten (Raiders, Roosters, Tigers) – A ball-playing prop with more than 250 games to his name, who grabbed a rare moment in the spotlight with a try in the final minute of the Tigers’ 2005 grand final win.

11. Carl Webb (Broncos, Cowboys, Eels) – A fearsome impact player with the Broncos and Cowboys, Webb played for Queensland a dozen times and lined up for Australia in the Centenary Test against New Zealand in 2008.

12. Andrew Ryan (Eels, Bulldogs) – ‘Bobcat’ Ryan has done it all in 11 seasons in rugby league, captaining the Bulldogs to a premiership in 2004 and being a regular fixture for NSW and Australia between 2004 and 2007.

13. Alan Tongue (Raiders) – A rare one-club player and one of Canberra’s favourite sons, Tongue has spent a decade as one of the game’s hardest workers and is a former Dally M captain and lock of the year.

Frank Puletua (Panthers, Rabbitohs)
Michael Hodgson (Eels, Raiders, Titans, Bulldogs)
Shane Tronc (Cowboys, Broncos)
Brad Meyers (Broncos, Titans)

Coach: John Lang (Sharks, Panthers, Rabbitohs)

Next week, we’ll go to the other end of the spectrum and name the best rookie 17 of the season.

Source: BigPond Sport

It is a very impressive ‘virtual’ team, wouldn’t it be great if the NRL could organise a swansong for the retiring players and let them tour the Rugby League outposts to not only spread the word but give the starry eyed youngsters a chance to see and touch the legends of the game.
A short 8 game tour at the end of the season for the players still able to lace on the boots would be sensational, 4 games in the Pacific ring, PNG, Tonga, Samoa & Fiji and another 4 games in the developing states of WA, SA, Victoria and the Northern Territory.
The AFL continue to promote their retired players and recently the Dipper (Robert Diperdeminico) who has been retired for 20 odd years gained great publicity for coaching a Israeli/Palestinian side, if it hadn’t been for the article then 99% of people wouldn’t have known that there was a AFL tournament in the GWS.

All big names who were great to decent in their prime.
All the best post game fellas.

Will always remember Wesser pre-2004,
so fast and the best fullback in the game.

When did Mark Riddell play for the Warriors ?? Sure they don’t mean Wigan Warriors ??

The NRL usually acknowledges retiring players on Grand Final day, should happen again this year, always a good segment of the day and a chance to acknowledge some fine players and admirable efforts.

I left out some good players from that original list…

Ill tell you what a young player could learn alot about what it takes to be a professional player from this lot…

some of the harderst working players in recent times, particuarly Luke Stuart, Tongue, Ryan and locky

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