While most of the big final day is focused on the top two teams battling for the Provan Summons trophy and Premier League glory, it’s also a day for farewell players who are either retiring or embarking on a new one Let in adventure.
Over 4,000 games of experience will leave the game in the 2020 retiring players class led by fan favorite champion Darius Boyd and Mitchell Aubusson, West Tigers legend Chris Lawrence and Kiwi star Adam Blair.
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Boyd, 33, hung his boots after playing 337 NRL games and a hugely successful career with three clubs over 15 years.The 32-year-old Aubusson wrote his name in the history books of the Roosters when he took over Anthony Minichiello with 306 games for the Tricolors as the club’s top player. The fan favorite won three premierships with the club.
Lawrence, 32, had a 15-year career with the Tigers, playing 253 NRL games. Lawrence is the ultimate clubman and is highly respected by everyone involved in the rugby league.
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Blair, 34, ended his career with one year left after a brilliant 15-year career in which he played 331 NRL games over stints with Storm, Tigers and Warriors. Blair was a key player for New Zealand International, donning the Kiwi jersey 51 times.
They will be joined by retired Cowboys Premier Winner Gavin Cooper and Rooster’s Premier Winner Aiden Guerra.
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England’s John Bateman and Manly’s fan favorite Joel Thompson will go to the Super League – after James Graham, who switched to mid-season, while Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu and Young Tonumaipea will switch codes to rugby union.
On the list of outgoing players are Sam Burgess, Matt Gillett, Tim Grant and Sam McKendry, who announced their retirement in the off-season.
There could be a handful of additional names to the list before preparations for the 2021 season officially begin and a number of players still have to make a decision about their future.
These players include Storm skipper Cameron Smith, who announced his resignation after Sunday’s grand finale, Aiden Tolman, Nathan Peats, Issac Luke, Ben Te’o, Elijah Taylor, Tony Williams and Bryson Goodwin.
Tiger legend Benji Marshall is without a club for the next season but wants to keep playing while the roosters duo Jake Friend, Josh Morris and Brett Morris all have no contracts but the club are in talks to re-sign them all.
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Mitchell Aubusson (Sydney Roosters) – Ruhestand
John Bateman (Canberra Raiders) – Super League
Gerard Beale (New Zealand Warriors) – Retired
Adam Blair (New Zealand Warriors) – retired
Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos) – Retired
Shannon Boyd (Gold Coast Titans) – Ruhestand
Jamie Buhrer (Newcastle Knights) – retired
Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla Sharks) – Ruhestand
Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs) – Ruhestand
Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys) – Retired
Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos) – Ruhestand
Tim Glasby (Newcastle Knights) – retired
David Gower (Parramatta Eels) – retired
James Graham (St. George Illawarra Dragons) – Super League
Tim Grant (Penrith Panthers) – Ruhestand
Aidan Guerra (Newcastle Knights) – Retired
Kerrod Holland (Bulldogs) – retirement
Cameron King (Sharks) – Ruhestand
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers) – Ruhestand
Ethan Lowe (South Sydney Rabbitohs) – Ruhestand
Ben Matulino (Wests Tigers) – Retired
Sam McKendry (Penrith Panthers) – Ruhestand
Chris McQueen (Wests Tigers) – Super League
Joel Thompson (Manly Sea Eagles) – Super League
Junge Tonumaipea (Gold Coast Titans) – Rugby Union
Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm) – Rugby Union
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