NRL to honour retiring players at Grand Final

The NRL will pay tribute to 26 retiring players during its build-up to the 2016 Grand Final between Melbourne Storm and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at ANZ Stadium on Sunday (October 2).

Premiership winners, State of Origin and Test stars, and two members of the exclusive “300-Club” will officially hang up their boots at the end of the season.

They include Grand Final player Michael Ennis (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), as well as Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), who has ended his career on 347 matches.

Also present on the night to take part in a lap of honour for retiring and departing players will be: Jack Reed (Brisbane Broncos), Sam Perrett, Antonio Kaufusi (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Glenn Hall (North Queensland Cowboys), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra Dragons), Anthony Watmough (Parramatta Eels), James McManus, Jeremy Smith, Kade Snowden, Todd Lowrie (Newcastle Knights), Nigel Plum (Penrith Panthers), Joel Reddy (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Glen Buttriss (Canberra Raiders), Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers), Nathan Friend, Luke Douglas (Gold Coast Titans) and Ali Lauitiiti (Warriors).

“The tribute to our retiring players is one of the real emotional moments of Grand Final Day,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

“This year, we are saying goodbye to some players who have contributed enormously to the game both on and off the field.

“I have had a lot to do with Michael Ennis over the years and he is not only a wonderful competitor, he is a wonderful person.

“Corey Parker’s achievement in playing 347 matches for the Broncos is simply incredible.

“There are internationals among this year’s group, State of Origin players, Test players – it is an extraordinary group of players and all of them will be missed.

“Thankfully, there are some wonderful ambassadors and role models among our 2016 class – this is far from the last we will be seeing of them.”