Dual premiership-winner Brett Morris has received a standing ovation from his Sydney Roosters teammates after formally retiring from the NRL.
Morris suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Newcastle last month and made the inevitable announcement on Monday that he was hanging up the boots.
Every member of Roosters’ 2021 playing and coach staff was at the emotional announcement at the SCG, as well as his family and several friends.
“Whilst it’s not ideal with the injury, the time for me is right,” the 34-year-old said.
“I’ve had a wonderful career spanning 16 seasons. I started as a skinny young kid and finished as an old man with a couple of kids bruised and battered.
“But my rugby league journey has been a wonderful ride.”
Morris retires in fourth position on the all-time try-scorers’ list with 176, behind only Ken Irvine (220), Billy Slater (190) and Steve Menzies (180).
As well as winning premierships with St George Illawarra in 2010 and the Roosters in 2019, the winger played 18 Tests for Australia and 15 State of Origin games for NSW.
He is the only player to win man of the match in two World Club Challenges, in 2012 and 2019.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson declared Morris irreplaceable but said he was already proving a great assistant coach.
“Not everybody gets to go out on their own terms, but looking back over my career, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities I’ve had, and I hang up the boots a very proud and content man,” Morris said.
“There are many people who have played an important role in helping me in my career throughout the years, and I’d like to extend my thanks to them all, right back to my junior club the Kiama Knights.”